By Kim West
Three area churches are serving as sites for tornado recovery after Monday’s EF3 twisters affected an estimated 747 homes, causing $4.2 million in expenses for public assistance in Limestone County.
More than 54 Clements High School students are homeless, with 271 residences demolished or incurring major damage from the storms. County school officials are in the process of contacting the student population for Blue Springs Elementary School and verifying the status of unaccounted Clements students.
Red Cross cases
Friendship United Methodist Church at 16479 Lucas Ferry Road in Athens is the location for Red Cross case management.
Caseworkers are available daily beginning at 9 a.m. for client interviews, addressing concerns about housing, transportation, medical issues, lost prescriptions and storage.
For more information, contact the Red Cross at 256-536-0084 or http://www.redcrossrelief.org.
Childcare & supplies
Clements Baptist Church and Limestone County Schools are partnering together to provide free childcare for families affected by the tornadoes.
The church daycare, at 8690 U.S. 72 West, will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through at least Friday, May 9.
Superintendent Dr. Tom Sisk said Blue Springs teachers are staffing the daycare, with the possibility of keeping it open with retired teachers once BSES reopens.
The church also has been serving as a drop-off site for donated supplies, including toiletry items and nonperishable food. No clothing, furniture, toys or household items such as sheets, dishes or cookware will be accepted.
The hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the site open until 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Showers & meals
The command center has transitioned from Blue Springs to Seven Mile Post Road Church at 14435 Seven Mile Post Road off U.S. 72 West.
Free meals, showers and laundry are available to storm survivors and response workers. Meals will be served at 7 a.m., 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.
New or gently used clothing may be donated through the Salvation Army in Athens or at the former Catfish Inn restaurant.
The restaurant is at 12218 U.S. 72 West with access to public restrooms. For more information, contact Pam Clark at 256-221-3658.
The Salvation Army Thrift Store in Athens is at 6999 East Hobbs Street. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 256-233-1614.
Storm damage help
For assistance with property storm damage, contact the United Way of Athens-Limestone County at 256-233-2323 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Callers should provide name, working phone number and type of assistance needed.
Donations are being accepted through the North Alabama United Fund at http://www.NorthAlabamaUnited.com or by calling Chris and Tiffany Seibert at 256-233-7602.
Online donations may also be made at http://www.UnitedWayAthensLimestone.com or through the United Way office at 419 South Marion St.