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Red Cross Opens Center to Help Tornado, Flood Victims

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BERKELEY, MO (KTVI) - The Red Cross has opened a central resource center to help residents affected by last weekend’s storms and this week’s flooding.

Kimberly Haynes is just one of thousands who survived Friday’s tornado. She said she was home for just seconds when a tornado sent a tree crashing through her children’s room.

”My kids were scared,” she remembered. “But, they weren’t crying. They were just shaking real bad. They kept saying ‘Mama, Mama, Mama’.”

The initial terror passed. Then, the fear of the future kicked in.

”I was able to get back in (my house),” Haynes said. “But, the only thing worth keeping is my bathroom stuff and my kitchen stuff. There is mold everywhere.”

That is one reason why Haynes showed up almost an hour before Berkley’s Airport Elementary opened as the Red Cross Casework Center. Those who could show proof that their home has been severely damaged in the tornado flooding could find rakes, tarps, and even a sandwich.

”We can also help with medications,” said Mary Anderson, the Regional Disaster Response Director for American Red Cross, St. Louis Chapter. “We can do physical health services: meaning medications, if you lost your eyeglasses, something like that. If we determine that, or you say that, ‘I didn’t have damage, but I’ve been without power for 4 or 5 days,’ we’re going to send you to our referrals. Our biggest referral is United Way 211.”

Officials say this disaster response is about food, shelter and physical safety. But, through these doors, clients can also find help with mental healthcare.

”During these types of events, we have a lot of people going through tough times, because they lost something. And sometimes, it is not about a loss. I could just be the (anxiety) about the tornado,” Anderson said. “Whatever the case may be, we have mental health professionals here to help them through.”

Berkeley Mayor Theodore Hoskins said his city’s recovery from the storm would be much more difficult without this help.

”We wouldn’t have had the resources or the manpower to provide this service of the Red Cross, he said. “So we are grateful.”

Casework Center Hours

  • Friday, June 7 – Saturday, June 8, 2013
  • 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Airport Elementary School (Ferguson-Florissant School District)

  • 8249 Airport Road
  • Berkeley, MO 63134

If you need help, but cannot get to the center, the Red Cross wants you to call (314) 516-2700.  Visit their website RedCross.org

The City of Berkeley is looking for volunteers to help clean up storm debris.

  • Saturday, June 8, 2013
  • 7:30 a.m.
  • City Hall
  • 8425 Airport Road
  • Berkeley, MO 63134

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