Home in Parker Destroyed by Tree

BAY COUNTY, Fla. - Monday morning, Hurricane Irma made it's way through North Florida. Strong winds from the storm brought some damage to Bay County, particularly a house in Parker. 

"A tree in their backyard actually twisted off and struck their house. The tree penetrated and also into the bedroom of the house," said Parker Police Chief, Dennes Hutto. 

A mother and daughter lucky to be alive after a huge oak tree landed on the roof of their home. Officials who responded to the scene say the trunk of the tree laying on the house weighed several tons. The uprooted tree caused the roof to cave in and the structure of the home to collapse. The family is now homeless struggling to survive with no help from the Red Cross so far, an organization known to help out in these situations.

"She said that the Red Cross could only provide a tarp... they were not able to provide any type of accommodations or food, which is unusual because if we have a fire, they generally provide accommodations and a couple hundred dollars for food to take care of the people... but they wouldn't do it," said City of Parker Fire Chief, Andrew Kelly.

Parker Fire Rescue was at the scene for almost 8 hours, in which they say they contacted the Red Cross multiple times but they never came to the scene. The most they could do was offer a tarp for the home. 

"I didn't need a tarp, I needed some help to help these people in this home," said Kelly.

The house is a total loss and the family will try and salvage what they can from the home. We reached Bob Pearce who is the North Florida regional disaster officer with the Red Cross. Pearce said this is simply a mix up. The Red Cross volunteers made a mistake and, even though this happened during the storm, they should have handled it like any other disaster action team case.

He says the Red Cross will reach out and assist the family with temporary lodging, and other financial assistance. 


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