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Community members in Palmetto come together to cleanup Bolden Road after weekend tornado

Posted at 5:24 PM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 19:19:34-04

PALMETTO, La. — The neighborhood hit by the tornado in Palmetto on Saturday morning is still in the early stages of rebuilding their community.

The people who live along Bolden Road tell me that they aren't surprised about how the community has come together to help in their efforts to clean up.

"That's just the community," says Carol Johnson, a resident who lives along the street. "It's family and friends from right here, to those that are just passing by and asking what they can do."

Johnson was one of the fortunate homes along the street that was untouched by the tornado, although her brother and sister-in-law have been hospitalized after being thrown from their home during the tornado.

On Monday, Johnson and a few others who volunteered, spent the day searching through the debris for valuable belongings that could be salvaged.

Burnell Offord was one of the volunteers helping Johnson on Monday, and was another fortunate one who received no damage at all from the tornado.

"I had gone to church on Sunday morning and I had come by here afterwards and asked if there was anything that I could do, and they told me to come back and help," says Offord. "So I went home and changed my clothes and helped out yesterday, and now I am back here today."

Offord was one of the many community members who decided to lend a helping hand to this community. Some brought in equipment to help move the debris, while others brought food to feed those working.

"The Andrews, from what I have heard, when something is going on like this, they go out anD barbeque," says Johnson. "So they decided to come set up and people donated food, so they started barbequeing and giving sandwiches out, which really helped us."

St. Landry Parish President, Jessie Bellard, says that he was overwhelmed with phone calls from people throughout Acadiana wanting to help out in any way they could.

"One guy called me yesterday, and said he didn't have a lot of money, but that he could come out there and help us do something," says Bellard. "So it's very impressive to see that and to see the people coming together to help those who are in need."

Offord says she came out to help because she is confident that the community would do the same for her.

"You never know when it may be you," says Offord. "So whenever someone around you is affected, always be willing to help out, because no one knows what's going to happen from one day to another."

Bellard tells KATC that he signed a State of Emergency Declaration on Sunday afternoon and is hopeful that it will bring in even more needed help to the area affected by the tornado such as shelter for those who have lost everything.

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