Shelter opens at local airport for those affected by storms

DARDEN, Tenn. — The American Red Cross teamed up with Beech River Regional Airport to provide a shelter for the victims of last Friday’s deadly storms.

Red Cross officials say that they wanted to provide a safe and warm space for those affected by the storm.

“We have a shelter that is housing personnel who have either lost the use of their home from the power outage, or they had a tree fall on their home, or whatever damage that has been caused by the storm,” said Lenora McMeekin.

McMeekin says she wants the survivors to know that they’ll be welcomed to a warm bed and a warm meal.

“Right now in this particular shelter, we’re offering hot food and that’s to anybody who shows up here,” McMeekin said. “I got a big list of people that come in, they bring their food and we go ahead and feed them.”

It is her mission to be there for the ones who need it most, even though she’s only a volunteer.

“The Red Cross has a mission and that mission, really simply, is that we are there to alleviate pain and suffering whenever possible during the event of an emergency by mobilizing our volunteers.”

Beech River Regional Airport officials say if any victims impacted by the storm are in need of any assistance, they will do what they can to help.

“If you’re just cold, hungry, need a shower, come out,” Keith Cotton said. “Call the airport, we’ll find a way. We’ll get you here.”

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance due to last Friday’s storms, contact your local Red Cross for more information.

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