Monday, December 28, 2015

Red Cross Assists Lawrence Co. Resident After Storm Destroys Her Home

Mary King, whose home in Lawrence County was destroyed by the recent tornado, is greeted at the Red Cross by Faye Anderson, Executive Director of the Tennessee River Chapter of the American Red Cross, and Joseph Reed, Red Cross Youth Volunteer. 
by Red Cross volunteer, Marvin Koch

When Mary King’s sister called her, Ms. King had no idea how urgent the message was going to be. Her sister said, “Mary, you better get to that tornado shelter RIGHT NOW!” said Ms. King.  The 79 year-old resident of Lawrence County said she wheeled herself out to her underground shelter and “I wasn’t in there five minutes before the storm hit. It sounded like a huge jet plane flying directly overhead.”  A wheel-chair bound senior citizen, Ms. King said the storm tore off most of the roof, destroyed her garage, busted out all her windows, damaged her car, and completely destroyed her front porch. The local fire department, surveying the scene, told Ms. King her house was totally uninhabitable.

“I live alone,” said Ms. King, "but I keep a nice, clean home. It’s terrible when something like this happens.” Her son, Terry Swithin,  a long-distance truck driver, said Ms. King is totally self-sufficient in her home. ”We built ramps into the house and into the shelter so she has easy access. But her car was damaged by the storm and now she needs a way to get around.”

Red Cross case workers Shirley Connolly and Sandra Burnham, both from the Tennessee River Chapter of the American Red Cross, discussed the damage to Ms. King’s home and her immediate needs for transportation. The two caseworkers were quickly able to find two sources of  handicapped-accessible public transportation for Ms. King.

Red Cross volunteer caseworkers Shirley Connolly and Sandra Burnham, both of the Tennessee River Chapter of the American Red Cross, assess Ms. King’s transportation needs.

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