Red Cross gives families the OK to head back to the Carolinas
The Red Cross is closing their evacuation shelter in Chattanooga.
It was for people from the Carolinas who evacuated due to Hurricane Florence.
Volunteers used the Brainerd Youth and Family Center as a shelter.
The Red Cross said it's now safe for people to return home.
Amber Henshaw's family was one of the first families to stay in the shelter. Channel 3 was able to catch up with them again to find out the next step for their family.
“Damage to the roof and the shed is gone,” Amber Henshaw said. “Our only concern is the inside if there were leaks.”
Henshaw has an 11-hour drive back home. They plan to tackle it within a day.
Jamie Olsen was also packing the car, so his family can make the nine-hour trip back to Lafayette.
“There may be some crawl space flooded, but we are much more fortunate than others,” Jamie Olsen said. “Our house was eluded.”
Olsen evacuated because his family didn't want to get stuck, which is what happened during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
He said it's been beneficial for them to stay in the shelter. They were able to get free food, water and clothes.
The Red Cross also provided a gas card to get back home and some safety tips.
“We've already plotted the route,” Olsen explained. “To take precautions, there are other shelters open. So if we come across any blockage, that's an option too.”
Both families said they enjoyed their stay in Chattanooga and look forward to coming back soon.
“To visit everybody at the Red Cross, it's basically family here,” Henshaw said.
Many of these family members said they look forward to volunteering with the Red Cross when they get home. They were inspired after staying in the Hamilton County shelter.