Local flood shelter sees sudden surge of evacuees - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Local flood shelter sees sudden surge of evacuees

Posted: Updated:
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - A surge of flood evacuees turned up at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church shelter overnight, many of them driven from their communities by river snakes.

According Dr. Frank Thomas, a senior pastor at the church, the shelter's population jumped from 288 evacuees to 467 in just 24 hours.

"Six people arrived here at three o'clock in the morning," he said.

Between Monday and Tuesday, 179 new flood evacuees fled their homes to stay in Mid-South shelters.

"All of a sudden, the power was going out in several places.  If you don't have power, you have to come out," Thomas said.

Power outages weren't the only reason people turned to shelters.

"Snakes in the water...when you start seeing snakes running around, a shelter might be a safer place," Thomas said.

People also held out until the river crested. Tuesday, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said local churches are a rock in the community.

"The sheltering has been handled exclusively by our faith community," he said. "I know some of the more extensive sheltering operations, they've spent a quarter of a million dollars or better."

Businesses have also stepped up to fill the need.

However, according to Thomas, it's not about money.

"That's not the issue. The issue is that people need help.  We believe that when we help people, we bless people and we get blessed," he said.

And, there's a bigger picture.

"Do any of us ever know if we'll be in a soup line? We could be in a shelter and I would want somebody to extend generosity to me," Thomas said. "We extend generosity to people because it could happen to any of us."

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Teen killed in crash after prom

    Teen killed in crash after prom

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-04-19 02:46:47 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - A young man's life was taken too soon. It was supposed to be a high school memory of a lifetime for Andrew Archer, but prom night turned into a tragic night for his family and friends. His promMore >>
    It was supposed to be a high school memory of a lifetime for Andrew Archer, but prom night turned into a tragic night for his family and friends.More >>
  • Woman featured on News Channel 11's Most Wanted list captured

    Woman featured on News Channel 11's Most Wanted list captured

    Tuesday, March 4 2014 12:51 PM EST2014-03-04 17:51:53 GMT
    Rebecca SpearsRebecca Spears
    A woman wanted for a failure to appear in court charge, was captured Monday.Rebecca Spears was listed as wanted by authorities for failing to appear in court on charges of driving on a suspended license and not having insurance.More >>
    A woman wanted for a failure to appear in court charge, was captured Monday.Rebecca Spears was listed as wanted by authorities for failing to appear in court on charges of driving on a suspended license and not having insurance.More >>
  • 7-year-old girl writes book after mother's death

    7-year-old girl writes book after mother's death

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:31:56 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - Most 7-year-old girls are playing dress up and reading books, but one Mid-South girl is the exception—not just reading but writing books. Shiloh Sanders talked about the inspiration behind herMore >>
    Most 7-year-old girls are playing dress up and reading books, but one Mid-South girl is the exception—not just reading but writing books.More >>
Powered by WorldNow