By Bill Shields, WBZ-TVBy Bill Shields

WAYLAND (CBS) — Even though recent news events have overshadowed it, residents in the south are still reeling from last week’s record-setting string of tornadoes.

“They need the basics: soap, toothpaste, water,” said Dean Casali, whose sister lives in Tuscaloosa. “She called and said it was even worse than we’ve seen on TV. There’s not even any transportation.”

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports.

Casali, a Wayland firefighter, made a couple of calls to fellow firefighters and emailed a few cop friends, and the next thing he knew donations were coming in from across the state.

“We were going to fill up a pickup truck with stuff. Now we have a tractor-trailer,” he said.

People are donating clothing, food, water, even bicycles to help people who have virtually nothing left.

Jim Santamaria brought in two bicycles. “I just wanted to help out any way I could,” he said. “And I hear some of them have no way of getting around.”

Kristen Freeman and her daughter Abbey drove from New London, N.H. to the Wayland fire station on Main Street. “I know everyone’s interested in Bin Laden’s death, but there are still people down there who need help.” They donated clothing and chairs.

The donations continued at a rapid pace Tuesday at the Wayland fire station at 145 Main Street. The deadline is 8 p.m. Tuesday. Wednesday the tractor trailer is headed out for Tuscaloosa, Alabama loaded with donations from New Englanders.

Bill Shields