Cross shelter manager Jen Edwards of Dallas talks with Brittiany Spain |
while her three-year-old son Gabriel and husband Jarid wait.
The family came to the shelter after a tornado that went through
Runaway Bay, Texas, damaged their home.
Three-year-old Gabriel Spain, along with his parents Jarid and Brittiany, showed up at the Red Cross shelter set up in Runaway Bay, Texas in search of a place to stay.
The youngster looked around the reception area clutching his toy truck and quietly explained: “Our house had a tornado. We hid in the closet.”
The family’s home was damaged by the tornado, tearing off large sections of the roof, exposing the interior to the rain and leaving the carpets a squishy mess.
The Spain family were among several who suffered through the tornado. Several condos a short distance away sustained major roof damage, forcing occupants to look elsewhere for a place to stay until repairs are completed.
The day after the tornado, the Red Cross began working on opening the shelter at the CrossWay Church. Red Cross emergency response vehicles drove through the community to provide food, water and cleanup supplies.
Cross volunteer Steve Bales of Brownwood, Texas, |
arrived with his Emergency Response Vehicle at Runaway Bay
after a tornado went through a section of the community.
He talks resident to learn where the damage is in the community.
“We provide the people with what they need in the recovery process,” said Red Cross volunteer Steve Bales of Brownwood, Texas who drove one of the vehicles into the community.
He stopped at the Runaway Bay City Hall to talk to people gathered there to find out what where the tornado had done its damage so he would know where to go.
At the shelter, Brittiany provided additional details to Red Cross volunteer Jen Edwards of Dallas, the shelter manager who made sure there were enough cots in the coverted sanctuary and food at the kitchen serving window.
Jen explained the shelter was opened to provide a safe place for people to stay if they didn’t have any place to go after the tornado. It’s among some 16 Red Cross shelters opened across Texas in the past two weeks because of severe weather.
Brittiany explained it was her first tornado and when she first heard it, she wasn’t sure what was happening. But Jarid had grown up is southwest Kansas were tornadoes are about as common as cattle and wheat fields.
“When the noise started, I knew exactly what it was,” he said, holding his son close to him.
Brittiany added: “He said go to the closet now. Then the house started shaking and then there was the sound of breaking glass as the roof came off. It really was scary.”
The parents said they’re most thankful for escaping unharmed with their son.
“I have the two most important things in my life. Everything else can be replaced,” the burley oil field worker said.
The Red Cross continues to provide critical humanitarian relief in Runaway Bay, Wichita Falls and nearly 100 other counties around Texas during this ongoing spring storm relief effort. You can help! Visit RedCross.org/Donate or call 1-800-REDCROSS to give.