American Red Cross assists dozens of households after destructive windstorm

Picking up the pieces from the powerful windstorms will take some time throughout the region. Families impacted spent Thursday assessing damages and cleaning up debris.

Other families displaced from their homes are just trying to figure out what to do next. The American Red Cross said it is extremely busy helping people whose homes are no longer safe to stay in.

"This is a large number of households across a pretty widespread geographic area. That storm came through, homes were damaged and now it’s really important that people are able to get themselves to a safe situation," said Betsy Robertson, regional communications director for the American Red Cross.

Volunteers and duty officers are all hands on deck serving in about 12 counties in Washington and Idaho. Robertson said within 48 hours, Red Cross assisted 17 households and 50 individuals affected by the storm. She said she thinks those numbers will increase as more people figure out what they need to recover.

"This storm is not done. The impacts of it are not done," said Robertson. "If your house is unlivable because of wind damage, a tree that came down, we want to be able to help."

In Tacoma, two families are displaced from a duplex after the windstorm blew down a tree, crashing through a bedroom roof and pinning a woman. Her husband said it’s a miracle she survived with only minor cuts and bruises. The Red Cross offers resources from shelter to food and clothing to both families and anyone else who doesn’t have a place to call home due to the storms.

"Every situation and set of needs is different. So, it’s our goal to make sure that in these immediate hours while folks are still trying to wrap their heads around what’s next, what needs to be done to get back into that house. We’re there to provide what assistance they need," said Robertson.

Property maintenance said the building was evacuated due to its unstable condition. Restoration crews were on scene, Thursday, to take a closer look at the damages. Crews said they are working with property management to see how to safely move forward with the structure and the cost. Stacey Corso, spokesperson for Mynd Management said in a statement, "We are working with the owner of this property to take care of our residents and resolve these issues as soon as possible." 

Robertson said Red Cross is encouraging more people to reach out for help recovering from the storm.

Those looking for assistance can call 1-800-RED-CROSS to get the process started.