published Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Patten Towers evacuation could last three to five days

Police and emergency vehicles outside of Patten Towers Tuesday night.
Police and emergency vehicles outside of Patten Towers Tuesday night.
Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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Rec. center closed

Brainerd Complex (1010 North Moore Rd) is closed to the public today and all programs, including swim classes, are cancelled for today.

Recreation center staff is working with the Chattanooga Fire Department and the Red Cross to provide shelter for those misplaced by the Patten Towers fire last night.

Patten Towers
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As of Wednesday afternoon, 240 residents at Patten Towers were told it could be three to five days before they are allowed to their homes and power is restored after a fire displaced the residents Tuesday night.

“We’re making plans for longer if need be. We’re hoping the needs is not there,” said Tony Reavley, director of Hamilton County Emergency Services.

Initially the residents were evacuated and taken in by emergency shelters set up by the Salvation Army and American Red Cross. That number dwindled as residents reached out to family members, said Sandy Matheson, regional chief development officer for the Red Cross, possibly allowing workers to eliminate one of the two shelters.

“We have a lot of people that are on oxygen, that need wheelchairs. We’re working with home health care providers to make sure they have a support system in place,” she said.

The Salvation Army provided food and spiritual care while the Red Cross focused resources on sheltering and physical needs.

“We’re prepared to stay as long as we’re needed,” said Kimberly George, director of development at the Salvation Army.

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