Deborah Bell and her two children have been staying in a hotel ever since severe storms damaged their home on Bircher Boulevard in North St. Louis on Thursday afternoon. High winds tore the roof of the house. Rain and mud poured in and soaked furniture, clothes, and electronics inside the house.
The city had the home condemned because it's so unstable it could cave in.
Still, Bell says that thieves have broken into the house twice to loot broken electronics and clothing.
"No words to explain what people will do when there's nothing to salvage because we would have brought stuff with us," said Bell.
The Red Cross has paid for Bell's hotel stay since Thursday, but that assistance runs out by check-out time on Monday morning.
Bell's alderman, Antonio French, says he spent Sunday afternoon calling area non-profits to find out if anyone can help the family of three find temporary housing.
For now, Bell's home is a total loss. She can't afford repairs and French says the family did not have insurance.
Alderman French reached out to U.S. Bank and says an account will be set up on Monday morning to accept donations for Bell's family. Donations can be made at any branch. Alderman French is also asking anyone who could help to call his office at (314) 769-9000 to coordinate assistance.
News4 interviewed Bell's two children, 16-year-old Devin and 12-year-old Briana, shortly after the storm hit on Thursday afternoon. Both children were at home and took cover in a bathroom before the roof of their house blew off. They were unhurt. Bell was at work when the storms hit, but rushed home to find the house destroyed.
"Things happen. We have to accept it as it is and move on," said Bell.