Pastor, former city firefighter, hopes to help as many as possible
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 1:00 AM
Philadelphia native and Baptist minister Hubert Yates is determined to help as much as possible with the Louisville tornado recover, including getting hot showers to the survivors from last week's killer storm.
Pastor at Macedonia Baptist Church in Winston County, he is a former Philadelphia firefighter and former instructor at the state Fire Academy.
"We're trying to take care of as many people as we can," Yates said on Thursday. "Right now we're organizing teams from across the state."
Yates got started last Monday almost immediately after an EF-4 tornado struck.
We went out and located church members and got them set up in housing, he said.
Last Tuesday, he helped set up shelters and on Wednesday he went out into the community to feed and help those who had lost their homes.
Part of this included setting up chainsaw and blue tarp teams to go to different areas and clear fallen trees and cover damaged homes.
"We get into places to work and help people reclaim things like clothing," Yates said.
He also worked to get people sheltered.
Following Monday's tornado, many survivors loaded up and headed to area hotels.
"I believe all the hotels are full," Yates said. "People need shelter. The storm hurt a lot of low income families."
A shelter was also set up at the First Baptist Church of Louisville by the Red Cross and Yates noted it has seen about 100 people from Wednesday to around noon on Thursday.
One thing the shelter was unable to provide was a way for survivors to clean up.,
However, a mobile shower unit from the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Unit was soon set up nearby.
"It was much needed," Yates said. "It got here Wednesday night at 5 p.m. and we had it operational by 6:15."
The shower is open twice a day.
"We're trying to reestablish a sense of normalcy," Yates said, "but normalcy is easy to establish in some areas and hard in others."
Despite all the good that has been done Yates can't help but think of the people who have been lost.
He recalled Sean Fowler and Terri and Tyler Tucker who died after the tornado struck their home.
"They were members of a sister congregation and had joined the week before," he said.
The shelters, Yates said, will stay open until the Red Cross decides to close them.
Anyone interested in volunteering are asked to check in at the Louisville Coliseum at 201 Ivy Ave. between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Officials asked that volunteers not self deploy.
Also there is a great needed for toiletry items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, etc. along with non-perishables and finger snacks. In addition, such things as laundry detergent, paper towels, plates and cups, work gloves, tarps, plastic binds, boxes, sunscreen, hand sanitizer and batteries are needed.
Clothes, furniture and appliances are not needed.
For more information contact numbers: 662-803-5295 or 662-803-5288. The number at the Louisville Coliseum is 662-773-7896.