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Woodville woman struggling three weeks after tornado; see what resources are available

Posted at 7:16 PM, May 31, 2024
  • A Woodville woman says she is trying to find a new home three weeks after a tornado damaged the place she lived in.
  • The Red Cross is working to help people displaced by the storm.
  • Watch the video to see what help is available.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

As many across the city are transitioning back to normalcy since the May 10th tornadoes, some are very much still in the thick of it. "It's just a tremendous amount of stress and I think I've cried every day since May 10th," said Barbara Babcock, a Woodville neighbor.

I'm Kenya Cardonne, your Southeast Tallahassee neighborhood reporter. I'm speaking with a struggling neighbor in Woodville and digging into what resources might be able to help.

"I am living one day at a time, I can't even process it. I'm actually living an hour at a time because I have to juggle appointments, tests, scans," Babcock explained. She says she is battling cancer. She also says she is trying to push forward after a tornado left her and her autistic son with an uninhabitable home.

"I had several sheds on the sides of my house and they were completely destroyed, tipped right over, twisted, wreckage of metal. I have memories in there of my sons childhood and they're gone."

Also without power and water, she tells me she can't afford to hire an electrician or plumber to move beyond the damage done.

ABC27 checked in with Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey, who says if you're responsible for making repairs before the City can safely restore your power, you can contact Emergency Management and City of Tallahassee Utilities so they can walk you through that process.

"In between everything I'm out there trying to find my own place and it's been very difficult," Babcock added. She's reached out to resources like the American Red Cross in hopes of getting assistance with that.

I stopped by their shelter at FAMU's Gaither Gymnasium to find out more about what they are doing to help people in this situation.

Michael Reed Pritchard, Recovery Care Manager with The American Red Cross, said, "if they can't return to their pre-disaster home, then we're working on finding them some long term solutions. And if they've located a place and maybe they need first-month or a deposit, that's something we can assist them with."

Pushing through tragedy, Babcock tells me she still has hope and is wishing the same for others like her. "I just really want people to realize that if you're in the same situation, you just need to keep looking for help."

Folks with the Red Cross tell me they've helped at least 50 clients transition back into a sustainable home.