MARION - Marion residents have taken up shelter in the recreation center of St. Joseph Church on Russell Street, to get away from the rain that has turned into floods in some areas since storms started on Friday.
While most residents have managed to escape the worst of the rains, some like Melissa Hopfer and Betty Allerding, who lived on North Courtney Street, were not as lucky.
"We woke up between 3 and 4 (on Saturday), there wasn't even water on the road," Allerding said. "At 7:30, she (Brianna) woke up screaming."
Brianna Vanderhule, Hopfer's niece who has been staying with the two, woke up on Saturday morning to find water everywhere.
Allerding said that when they got up, the water was calf-deep, and the electricity was still on at their house.
They called the fire department, and because of how flooded their road was, it took almost an hour for firefighters to reach the house and walk the three through about a foot of water. The home was later determined to be a total loss.
"Right now, we are completely displaced," Allerding said. "We've lost everything except for our clothing.
"At least we're alive."
Marion residents including Hopfer, Allerding, and Vanderhule, were first evacuated to the Marion Senior Center on Main Street, but were then moved over to the recreation center, because the area had more space.
Red Cross volunteer Bart Hagston said that since the center opened up at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, at least 22 clients have sought shelter. The number has fluctuated, Hagston said, as rain has periodically let up, and clients have left to stay with friends, family, or were able to get into their homes.
"Some of the clients that came to us had to be water rescued to get out of their homes," Hagston said.
The shelter provides a "warm, safe, dry place to stay" with a cot, blankets, comfort kits with essentials, and hot meals.
The Red Cross also does case work with clients to assess personal needs like money for clothing and food.
Hagston said that it was "unclear" how much longer the shelter would remain open, saying that it would depend on the weather. However, the Red Cross attempts to give at least 24 hours advance notice of closure so that they can find somewhere to stay and get back on their feet.
"They've been very nice," Hopfer said.
"God bless them," Lighthouse Shelter resident Debra Edlyng said.
The shelter was completely evacuated, due to the amount of water coming into the building, sending residents to the Senior Center, and then to St. Joseph.
When evacuating the shelter, Edlyng helped to try and block the waters from entering with towels, and assisted a young mother in evacuating her children from the shelter.
"Anything that we've needed, they've offered," an emotional Allerding said.
Allerding and Hopfer's landlords have examined the property and contacted their insurance providers, and are in the process of setting up a new residence for the two, but there is no timeline on when that will happen.