Families displaced by floodwaters find refuge in South Valley locations

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Thursday, March 16, 2023
Families displaced by floodwaters find refuge in South Valley locations
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A pillow with the words "Home Sweet Home" sits in the middle of the evacuation center at the Exeter Veterans Memorial building.

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A pillow with the words "Home Sweet Home" sits in the middle of the evacuation center at the Exeter Veterans Memorial Building.

It's far from home, but residents that have been displaced due to flood waters in Woodlake, Three Rivers, Lindsay and other parts of Tulare County are doing the best they can to find comfort during this hard time.

This safe shelter provides food, clothing, a place to shower and other necessities for those who need it.

Michael Stevens is the assistant manager of the memorial building.

He has seen about 30 people come in.

"It's a range of emotions anywhere from sad, upset, confused. Everyone overall seems really stressed and exhausted. This is a taxing situation that has just been dropped upon them," says Michael.

The facility has enough room for over 100 beds.

They also have space for small animals.

Jacob Jimenez works for Tulare County.

He says they are in need of clothing for all ages and comfort supplies like activities or toys for the little ones.

"What they had at their home has vanished now, we are urging the community to be sensible to the things that really mean something for our families," says Jacob.

The Exeter Memorial building has had to cancel events to make room for the shelter.

But organizers of those events, including the Exeter Lions Club and the Exeter Dorksmen Inc. jumped in, to help feed those displaced.

"It's priceless. It's something you can't replace somebody that in their time of need has lost it all. They don't have a lot of people in their corner. They don't have a lot of things going their way. They are low on supplies, they are low on everything so everything is an issue. So anything they do get, it's complete gratitude," Michael mentions.

If you're in need of a place to stay, the Exeter Memorial building has plenty of room for more people.

The Red Cross has also set up a shelter at the Porterville College gym.

Tulare County is also partnering with United Way, you can text "FLOODTC" to 41444 if you'd like to give a monetary donation.

If you would like to donate items, volunteer or help, you can swing by their drop off locations:

Dinuba Family Resource Center

  • 597 N Alta, Dinuba
  • Porterville FRC

  • 770 N Main St, Porterville
  • Visalia FRC

  • 330 N Johnson St Visalia
    • Cutler-Orosi Family Ed Center
  • 40802 Road 128, Orosi
    • Lindsay Healthy Start FRC
  • 400 E Honolulu, Lindsay
    • Woodlake FRC
  • 168 N. Valencia, Woodlake
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