Mid-South Native And Florida Evacuee Finds Shelter At Local Memphis Church

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - This week thousands of people evacuated parts of Florida after Governor John Freeman advised people to find a safe place to avoid the pathway of Hurricane Harvey.

Some of those Florida residents came right here to Memphis. 

Memphis native, Joshua Stoutmire lives in Orlando. 

He says when news arrived that Florida was directly in hurricane Irma’s path he didn't waste any time getting out of state.

Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida Saturday as a category 3 storm, bringing devastating winds, heavy rain and a dangerous storm surge. 

Joshua took all the warnings seriously. 

"A lot of the stores were running out of water, they were running very low on supplies, batteries all the supplies were very low. Everyone were poster boarding their homes it was just a scary sight." 

Worried about his safety, Stoutmire got on the highway and headed back home to Memphis.  It took him 24 hours to get here. 

"Traffic was very bad leaving the state of Florida"

But when he arrived, he was met with help from the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church who teamed up with the Red Cross to offer shelter to any evacuated families in need.

"So, when there is acute need for shelter in a situation like this the church always responds, and it's in our heartbeat to do this," said Reverend J. Lawrence Turner with Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church.

Stoutmire is grateful for this help. He says this was the first time he had to be evacuated, and he's definitely prepared for the future. 

"No matter when the storm hits you just have to be prepared, and do what you can to get away from it,” said Joshua.

Hurricane Irma has caused at least 24 deaths. 

This shelter will remain open for anyone who needs it.  It’s located in Midtown at 70 N Bellevue Blvd. 


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