Wednesday afternoon, April 27, Jeremy Harris was huddled in a bathroom with his twin sons and heard mooing and a dog bark as his house started coming apart in the tornado.

This Thursday afternoon, nine rough days later, Harris heard the sound of Sammy Tedder backing a travel trailer into his drive on Edmonton Lane, and he couldn’t wait for his wife and kids to get back to their demolished home so he could show them their new one.

It was donated to the cause earlier that day by Jonathan Hyatt, the first of three travel trailers procured as part of a program hurriedly pulled together by Arab City Schools and Arab First United Methodist Church.

The program got started when Stacie Pace, coordinator of federal programs for the school system, began compiling numbers of students at Arab City Schools who were left homeless by the tornadoes 11 days ago.

“Some of the victims have the resources financially and with insurance to quickly procure adequate shelter,” Mullins said. “Others do not have those resources and do not want to leave their property.”

Travel trailers, or campers, seemed a perfect, short-term solution, and Mullins worked out the details with AFUMC pastor Kenny Baskins.

Superintendent John Mullins talked to a FEMA representative about the plan and was told the agency was sending campers like those provided to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

“He said our plan is much quicker,” Mullins said. “It could be two weeks at least before FEMA can supply shelter.”
Pleas for travel trailers were broadcast Thursday on local radio. A school phone cast was also sent to all parents, and three people came forward with donations.

The Harris boys, Jeremy and Jonah, are 9 years old and go to Arab Elementary School. Tedder, the maintenance director for the schools, delivered it with his own vehicle on his own time.

The camper has a “master” bedroom at the front end, a nook with bunk beds in the back, a bathroom, eating area, propane stove and appliances the Harrises will be able to run off a generator EarthLink is letting them use.

A unit donated by Roger Tidmore was delivered later Thursday afternoon to Jamey and Heather Thomas, whose children are 4 and 2 years old. Rudy Wooten – an Arab school bus driver who lost two chicken houses south of town in the tornadoes there – delivered that travel trailer.

Nancy Melton donated the third camper. It was scheduled to be delivered yesterday afternoon to Jody Thomas, whose daughter, Alana, is an eighth grader at Parkside School in Baileyton.

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One Response to “Travel trailers donated to help storm tornado victims”

  • Hi.
    We are a small group of folks, dedicated to helping the victims of tornadoes and flooding in Alabama, Tennessee, and surrounding areas.
    We’ve made one trip with a uhaul full of supplies, and volunteered time for a week. We are raising money locally, gathering more donations, and plan to go back on 2 June.
    I was wondering if anyone knows where we could find a used RV and trailer to continue our endeavor. I’ve seen here that there have been donations.
    Our group is called 3 Nails Disaster Volunteers, and they are working on a nationwide network right now.
    Thank You for your time.

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