ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A resource center that opened for flood victims in Florissant had to close three hours earlier than expected because of storms on Wednesday.
The JFK Community Center on Howdershell Road opened up at 3 p.m. and hundreds of families rushed in to check in with numerous organizations about assistance.
That included meeting with experts in areas such as housing, insurance, food stamp replacement and mental health counseling.
A spokesperson with the Red Cross told 5 On Your Side they had been instructed to shut down earlier by Missouri State Emergency Management Agency and law enforcement due to heavy rainstorms that poured in as multiple victims took numbers and sat down with agents.
The center was supposed to remain open from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m., but it closed early, at 5 p.m.
"We've been asked to close this center for the safety of the weather and the people who are here," Red Cross Director Beth Elders said.
People at the shelter told 5 On Your Side the last 15 minutes were a bit chaotic as volunteers worked hard to direct people out and toward the assistance they needed.
“We owe it to you to keep you safe,” one volunteer said as she instructed residents about future centers opening throughout the week.
The shelter had many resource agencies, flood cleanup supplies, and support. It was a space for countless people to share their stories.
"I woke up (last week), the water was so high, I almost drowned," said one St. Louis County resident at the shelter, Mya Gray. "We had to get out on boats and everything."
Before making her way to the center, Cherrai Joseph took a pause on her porch on Palm Drive in Hazelwood.
Her house caught the wave of heavy flooding not once but two times last week.
"My whole life feels like it's in shambles. It's almost like I'm on autopilot in a sense," Joseph said.
She spent the week in an Airbnb going back and forth to her house to clean up what she can and told 5 On Your Side she had been without air conditioning for a week.
Her finished basement took the hardest hit where mold began to form and moisture caused the ceiling to fall.
All of her material for her event business, Make It Happen, was a complete loss.
The single mother with two recent high school grads is now left with no choice but to remain strong.
“It's a bit much and taxing on a person mentally, emotionally, all of that," she added.
At The Reserve at Winding Creek off Interstate 270, unmovable cars lined the apartment complex next to piles of destroyed belongings.
Kameia Ransom’s apartment was condemned.
"I mean I don't have any funds to you know support my son at the moment, support me, you know try to find somewhere to live. School's next month," she said.
The rescheduled date for the Multi-Agency Resource Center at the JFK Community Center is TBD.
The other regional locations this week include:
- Thursday, August 4, 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm
7210 Olive, University City, MO 6313
The City of St. Louis MARC will be held at Friendly Temple Church at 5515 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.
The center will be open on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.