Tornado survivors move into NCSU apartments

Tornado shelter housing at NC State's family and graduate student apartments

April 23, 2011 12:52:42 PM PDT
Dozens of families in Wake County shelters found out Friday afternoon they will move out of their shelters and into apartments on North Carolina State University's campus.

The temporary housing should help reduce stress for tornado survivors as they try to figure out what to do next.

About 30 people from a shelter in Garner made the move Friday night. More than 100 made the move Saturday morning from a shelter at Heritage High School in Wake Forest.

"We all clapped, we all just wanted to jump up," Stony Brook resident Beatrice Alvarez said.

Alvarez says storm victims at Heritage were ecstatic when they learned they would be transferred to NCSU's graduate housing.

"To know that we can have privacy, you know, that's better," she said smiling.

Alvarez and her family lived at the Stony Brook mobile home park. Their home had some minor damage, but the family is too traumatized and afraid to go back and live there.

"I couldn't put myself to go back in there," Alvarez added.

Her former neighborhood is scarred with constant reminders of the violence of Saturday's tornado.

Others like Gilda Brisbond and her two children don't have a place to live. Their home on Marlboro Road in Raleigh was destroyed by the storm.

"I had to climb trees," Brisbond said. "Eight trees fell on the house. We couldn't get anything out."

The Brisbonds arrived at the NCSU apartment with everything they owned packed in three bags.

By Friday evening, they had settled in and 7-year-old Anthony played on the floor of the small unit with some new toys. Brisbond says the family's next step is uncertain.

"Looking for some permanent stay but right, I mean, I know it's gonna take a while," she said.

NC State has made 42 units available, and Lenovo is providing bus transportation for people who do not have vehicles.

It's unclear how long the families will be able to stay there.

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