Efforts continue to rebuild communities devastated by tornadoes - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Efforts continue to rebuild communities devastated by tornadoes

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(FOX19) -

Efforts continue to clean up and rebuild communities devastated by tornadoes. Volunteers from across the country, including here in the Tri-state, are headed to the towns of Mayflower and Vilonia Arkansas  to offer help.

This marks the second tornado to strike the small town Vilonia in three years. In April 2011, a similar storm destroyed homes and businesses. Officials are calling this latest storm on Sunday much worse.

Early Monday morning volunteers from Matthew 25 Ministries began the twelve-hour journey to the Natural State offering their time and resources to families reeling from disaster.

"We will probably be there for at least 5-6 days. That is normally how long we stay there. We're looking for our partners there so we can empower them to take care of their communities," says CEO of Matthew 25 Ministries and leader of disaster response Tim Mettey.

They arrived Tuesday to find Mayflower and Vilonia, two suburbs of the state's capital, in shambles. The National Weather Service is estimating an EF 3 tornado took 15 lives in Faulkner, White and Pulaski counties leaving neighborhoods flattened.

The American Red Cross in Cincinnati is also offering their help sending four volunteers to Little Rock. The first to fly out Tuesday was Stewart Press.

"We are just now ramping up so I really have no idea what to expect once I get there," said Press.

Press will be offering technical support to volunteers in the field hoping to help the recovery effort easier for families who've lost everything.

"It's just a good feeling to know I could help out giving somebody the help that they need to get through some of these disasters," says Press.

After helping in Arkansas, Matthew 25 Ministries say they are headed to Tupelo Mississippi to help those communities also recovering from tornado damage. They say they will travel wherever they are needed.

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