Red Cross helps with relief efforts

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | e-mail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Columbus Red Cross sent disaster relief crews throughout the area to help families in damaged homes. News Leader Nine caught up with one family helped by the people in red.

The Stewart family was just settling in Sunday night at this Midtown home when the tornado sirens went off. They looked outside and that's when they say, disaster struck. Karen Stewart told News Leader Nine, "I heard the rain. It was so loud and then I looked to the corner and that's when I saw the tornado coming."

Karen and her family have only lived in the home for two weeks. She quickly gathered her family into the bathroom, "The next thing we knew, we heard a train coming, the house was shaking and it was one big thud. Then it was over."

A tree from the back of the house collapsed, leaving a hole and debris. "I walked into a branch. That's when I knew it was bad," said Stewart.

Once damage was reported in the area, workers with the Columbus Red Cross hit the streets, offering water, food and relief for residents.

The Columbus Red Cross Development Director, Mitzi Oxford said, "We've actually only had one request for the Stewart family to put then in a hotel because they can't stay with a tree in the house."

Oxford says the Red Cross is always willing and ready to help whenever disaster strikes the area, "We're going to be right there when people need us but we also welcome donations that come in because if it weren't for the generosity of the people in the community we wouldn't be able to offer free help for people."

And Stewart is thankful for their generosity, "It's appreciated. You feel like you're not a disaster, but you're a person."

Even though the family just moved in, it looks like they're going to have to pack back up and find somewhere else to stay. But they tell us they're just glad everyone is okay and they are still together.