Mid-Missouri disaster shelters to merge, move to Russelville

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Red Cross of Missouri is merging and moving its Jefferson City and Eldon tornado shelters.

A day after a tornado struck mid-Missouri, on May 23, the Red Cross opened the shelters.

Red Cross representatives said over time the number of people staying in the shelter has declined. There were nine people staying at the Jefferson City shelter and 13 staying at the Eldon location on Friday night, according to the representative.

The group said the two shelters will be consolidated and moved to the Russelville Baptist Church in Russelville.

One Red Cross representative said part of the reason for the move is to return communities back to normalcy.

"Those communities need their spaces back. The school needs their gym and Eldon needs its community center."

A Red Cross shelter manager said the move will allow them to be more resourceful.

The Eldon Shelter located in the Eldon Community Center will close at 10 a.m. on Sunday. The Jefferson City shelter at the Thomas Jefferson Middle School will close at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, according to a press release.

Ruby Overman, who is staying at the shelter in Jefferson City, said she worries the move to Russellville will create transportation difficulties for her.

"As far as going to Russellville, I'm not going to be able to make that," Overman said. "I don't have reliable transportation to get to my doctor's appointments in Jefferson City and my grandkids have their summer school here."

The Red Cross said it has a transportation team to help drive the shelter residents around.