SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The devastation left behind by Tuesday’s deadly storms in Caddo Parish that left dozens of families picking up the pieces less than two weeks before Christmas will no doubt weigh on the hearts of those who want to help, but the sheriff’s office is asking people who wish to volunteer their time and equipment not to show up on the scene just yet.

According to preliminary storm surveys, the tornado that touched down in the Pecan Farms area near Four Forks just before 5 p.m. Tuesday was at least an EF-2, packing winds of 130 mph. Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed a disaster declaration and is touring the hardest hit areas Wednesday afternoon.

The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office says the Pecan Farms area is still an active scene, and the roads in the Four Forks area are only open for first responders. Residents coming through to check their homes will have to show their I.Ds to show proof that they live in the area and will be escorted to their home for safety.

Those who wish to donate are welcome to do so, preferably through organizations coordinating with emergency officials.

Director of 211 with United Way of Northwest Louisiana Louise Droddy says the need is still being assessed and they will open up a donation drop-off if needed. United Way is a member of Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), a group of non-profits that work together during times of disaster like this to help with the immediate needs of citizens in Northwest Louisiana

Droddy says they are also working closely with the Region 7 Office of Emergency Preparedness to coordinate relief efforts and that the VOAD is still waiting for word from state and local emergency officials to determine what is needed and what they can do to help.

Law enforcement and other emergency agencies are still assessing the damage, but based on preliminary reporting, dozens of families will need assistance after a confirmed 40 to 60 homes were severely damaged.

The American Red Cross is on the scene and continues to monitor the needs of area residents.

In the meantime, individuals, churches or other community organizations that would like to help can call Louise Droddy at 318-606-6585, and some local organizations are already collecting donations and offering help to victims of the storms in both Keithville and Elysian Fields in Harrison County, just over the Texas state line.

A tornado also touched down there Tuesday afternoon, leaving behind destruction that the National Weather Service says so far indicates an EF2 with winds of 115 mph.

Shreveport Volunteer Network locations9201 Walker Rd.
Shreveport, La. (8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.)
1067 Hwy 171
Stonewall, La. (8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.)
-Dry food
-Canned goods
-Gently used toys
Shreveport Volunteer NetworkContact Cindy Landers
(318) 461-2202
6615 Victoria Ln.
Keithville, La.
-Sanitary items
POLA FoundationContact Susan Votaw
(318) 426-0087
Assisting with displaced, missing animal needs
Rest Point for tornado victimsContact Crystal Rice
(318) 918-8698
Emma Lane’s Soapery11970 Mansfield Rd.
Mansfield, La. (M-F 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)
-Pet supplies
-Household items
-Monetary donations
Discount Jewelry and Loan2738 Mackey Ln.
Shreveport, La.
-Non-perishable food
-Christmas trees
-Christmas gifts
Hops Corner8265 Colquitt Rd.
Keithville, La.
Providing hot food and water from 10:00 a.m. until it’s gone. Needs:
-Food to be cooked
-To-go boxes