Kern Red Cross sending help to tornado-devastated Mississippi

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) The local chapter of the Red Cross is sending two volunteers to Mississippi in the wake of the tornadoes that ripped through parts of the South and Midwest earlier this week.

Cindy Huge, who has been volunteering with the Red Cross for the last 13 months, says she feels very strongly about giving back.

"It makes me feel really good that I can be able to help them get through probably the worst days of their lives," Huge says.

The damage from recent storms spans 11 states and has taken at least 19 lives and left many others with nothing.

"There are hundreds of volunteers out there right now," says Amy Mayer, volunteer coordinator for the Kern Chapter of the Red Cross. "On Tuesday night alone, we had 430 people staying in 29 different shelters in 11 states, so you can just imagine what the need is for our Red Cross volunteers."

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Huge who will be heading out to Flowood, Mississippi, just got back from the mudslides in Oso, Washington, two weeks ago.

"These people lost everything," she says. "They lost family members, homes, every memory. For the Red Cross to come in and give them a compassionate ear, to help them with housing, with food and with clothing is very rewarding."

Huge and another local volunteer will leave Friday morning for Mississippi. Both will be deployed for at least two weeks.