Ascension Parish residents have donated blood, provided food and volunteered to help victims of last week’s tornadoes in Ascension, Assumption and St. James parishes.

Twelve tornadoes were confirmed in south Louisiana on Feb. 23, including the EF-3 that ripped through the Assumption and St. James parish communities of Paincourtville and Convent. The tornado carved a path 21 miles long and 300 to 350 yards wide, destroying homes and businesses including a trailer park near Convent where two people were killed.

Several area groups and businesses are working this week to assist the tornado victims.

The Sorrento Lions Club collected 25 units of blood during a drive held Saturday to help tornado victims.

The Donaldsonville Rotary Club sent out cooking teams and volunteers to provide meals for Assumption Parish residents affected by the tornadoes.

Rotarian Marvin Gros said volunteers with his club hit the ground the day after the storm, serving meals. In three days, the group served 3,000 meals and distributed more than 300 cases of water.

The group plans to clean yards, cut trees, move materials and haul debris.

“We are still receiving donations daily and will use any money left over to help restore some of the homes who were not insured,” Gros said, adding that they are working with the Assumption Office of Emergency Preparedness to identity families in need.

Volunteer Ascension Executive Director Sherry Denig said CrossFit Virtus of Gonzales and Prairieville raised $508 Friday with its “Friday Night Lights” CrossFit Open fundraiser in its Prairieville location. She said her agency is working with the business to determine how best to spend the money.

Denig said her agency provided clothing and basic necessities to a man from Convent who lost everything in the storm.

She said Volunteer Ascension is working with the Volunteer Reception Center in LaPlace to provide volunteer opportunities for people interested in helping tornado victim.

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