Community center made safe haven for families who were in path of tornado

Red Cross opens shelter after tornado rips through Mid-South neighborhoods

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A man who has worked in disaster relief for 35 years said the damage left behind from an EF-1 tornado in Parkway Village is some of the worst he’s even seen. He’s helping get people settled in a shelter for displaced residents.

Fifty people stayed at the Marion Hale Community Center in Parkway Village Monday night.

“We had a family of 7 come last night,” Red Cross Disaster Team Captain Jonathan Prince said.

Most of the people are coming to the American Red Cross shelter because Monday’s EF-1 tornado made their homes unlivable. Plus, more than 24 hours after the storm there were thousands in Memphis without power.

Prince said a lot of the people are from the Cottonwood Apartments and surrounding neighborhoods. He visited that area Monday to see what people are dealing with.

“The pictures that people saw wasn't a great indication of what happened,” Prince said. “There were some buildings that didn't have walls.”

Prince said the shelter at the community center will be open until the need isn’t there. The shelter can fit 150 people, and the Red Cross is ready to open up another shelter if there is over flow.

“We have blankets, we have medical kits,” Prince said. “We have a feeding schedule.”

Prince said when you come and go from the shelter you have to sign in and out, and doors are locked at 10 p.m. When you get there, you’ll have to fill out some paper work if you plan to stay overnight.

It's a place Prince hopes can relieve some stress on people who are dealing with the worst.

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