Families in DeLand receive help from Red Cross following EF-2 tornado

A single DeLand mother who lives in a home was able to get a tarp for her roof and other supplies from the Red Cross to help clean up the damage from an EF-2 tornado.

"Usually, I have my truck, but I can’t get it out of my backyard," said Bridget Vaughn.

She received supplies from the American Red Cross of Central Florida, to help clean up the mess at her home on Boston Avenue.

"We experienced a tornado at 4:30 yesterday [Tuesday] afternoon -- the most frightful thing I’ve been through."  

It’s still difficult for this single mom of two teens to talk about.

"My son was in the hallway. We just got to the hallway when we heard all of it. Wind and debris put a lot of pressure on us, and I just yelled prayers to please stop."

The roof started peeling off and the ceiling caved in on them.

"We heard a lot of wind and it sounded like it was swirling right over top of us and we were gonna be sucked right out the roof because we heard the roof coming off. We felt pressure like we were gonna be held down and I felt like we were gonna be taken."

With so much damage and no renters insurance, they now have to find a new place to live.

"I have placed my kids with somebody so they’re together and a friend has taken me in so we are a little separated right now."

Vaughn is amazed at the people offering a helping hand.

"We’ve been out helping to remove debris, putting tarps on roofs, we’re distributing lunch to neighbors," explained Pastor Michael Stovall, of Tomoka Christian Church.

She’s grateful to the Red Cross. They’ve helped around 40 people in DeLand.

"Me and my kids are ok, all of that’s replaceable." 

So even after a flurry of events, Vaughn is still ready to keep moving on and encourages others as well.

"Anybody that’s been through this mess we’re in, we’re gonna come out of this stronger."

She works the front desk at a school in Volusia County. She says many have reached out to help, but she's still accessing the damage.

People needing assistance from the American Red Cross should call 1-800-RED-CROSS or go to Lowe's at 303 E. International Speedway Blvd. for help