Local residents helping tornado victims - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Residents helping tornado victims

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Many people who lived in the path of Monday's tornadoes woke up to nothing.

The images were so terrifying a Baton Rouge business owner decided he wanted to do something to help.

Chris Wagley of CSC Customs has a unique gift. He dedicates his time and talents to bringing cars to life. Today he is behind the wheel of his own truck on a different kind of mission.

He is behind a big community effort to help those impacted by the tornadoes that hammered the South.

Volunteer firefighter Timothy Pourchiau was eager to help.

"Terrible. It reminds me kind of like New Orleans, wiped off the map," Pourchiau said.

"It's a tragedy, lots of lives lost, businesses, homes and I want to help these people," Wagley said.

A simple call for help online sparked a tremendous response. Everyone from supermarkets to businesses and even volunteers responded almost immediately.

"It's been crazy. I had a 100% charge at 8 a.m. and I just plugged my phone back in. My phone is dead already," Wagley said.

Wagley is not waiting around for donations. He is going out and getting them. So far he has gotten the basics -- water, paper towels, and few other necessities-- but he knows the people hit hard by the twisters will need a whole lot more.

"Toothpaste, toothbrushes, gas cans, anything you can think of if you were in this situation," Wagley said.

Wagley is counting on donations from the public to cover as much ground as he can.

"We're going to go as far as our donations will let us go," Wagley said.

Wagley leaves for Mississippi early Wednesday morning.

You can donate non-perishable items at the three locations below:

10589 Airline Hwy in Baton Rouge

11000 Burgess Avenue in Denham Springs

Star Equipment 42254 E. I-55 Service Rd. Hammond, La.

Copyright 2014 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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