Red Cross shelter saves Edwards woman relying on an oxygen machine

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EDWARDS, Miss. (WJTV) – Back in Hinds County the town of Edwards has survived Monday’s tornado, but now comes the challenge of putting things back to normal in bitter temperatures.

Having no power doesn’t help either. The town of Edwards may still be left in a black hole after Monday’s tornado but the power of neighbors helping one another has been shining like a diamond.

Once covering their homes and blocking roads, the piles of cut trees and branches along the streets of Edwards emphasize the progress people have made.

“When things like this happen this shows the close knit family Edwards is as a whole,” Mayor Marcus Wallace told us. “People come out of the house with saws or whatever to get things done.”

Down Royal St. many homes still sit surrounded by trees and downed wires plus a barn lay in ruins reminding witnesses how bad it could have been.

“It sounded like it was taking the roof off and the house was shaking,” Homeowner Eve Haggard said. “It was a scary thought.”

While no one has reported being seriously hurt or fatalities the next big challenge is how to brave the temperatures dropping below 40 degrees all night still with no power or heat.

“We have mutate heat,” Haggard continued. “So I’ve just been sitting in my chair with my throw trying to stay warm.”

“We’ve set your shelters for citizens to basically have a warm place tonight,” Mayor Wallace explained. “One of them is Sandhill Church out on Highway 22. Pilgrim Rest has also served as a shelter as well.”

Put up by Red Cross, those without power and access to cook food are able to be put up for the night and be near working outlets. Crucial for this woman who relies on an electric powered oxygen machine.

“I stay on it 24-7 and I have portable tanks but they only last so long,” Patrice West of Edwards said. “And when they run out I need an extra machine to plug it up to fill the empty tanks up so it’s very hard.”

Other resources at the shelters are snacks, coffee, and ways to charge your phones to keep in contact with family or help.

The mayor of Edwards also says if you want to help the community in any way just come by exit 19 and stop by Edwards to deliver food or supplies to help those who are still struggling.

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