Babbitt providing space for shelter, command center for Greenwood Fire |

Babbitt providing space for shelter, command center for Greenwood Fire

Updated: August 25, 2021 11:17 AM
Created: August 24, 2021 05:50 PM

Babbitt is about 15 miles away from the Greenwood Fire, and smoke filled the air on Tuesday at times.

The Red Cross evacuation shelter is already helping people. It's at the Municipal Center, in the gym. One person had registered, and was utilizing services on Tuesday afternoon. And more were expected.

Rod Winters, shelter manager, said, "We provide housing and cots, and meals for anybody. It's a safe place to get their feet under themselves, and then decide what the next thing is. Not everyone has a place to go, and leaving your home can be a traumatic experience."

Just down the road at the Ron Castellano arena, firefighters are using the facility for showering. And soon, it will be a command center, according to mayor Andrea Zupancich.

She told us that it's all very surreal. "Yesterday, you see the cloud coming into town, and you can feel something coming. Today was all smoky, and the wind shifted. It's scary. I'm getting calls from the elderly wondering if we need to evacuate. The mine is still in between, it's still about 15 miles away. It's definitely something to keep an eye on, but not be overly scared or worried right now."

Residents and businesses of Babbitt have been supporting firefighters and the Red Cross.

For more details about the shelter:

Babbitt Municipal Center 
71 South Drive 
Babbitt, MN 55706 
Partnering with St. Louis County and Lake County Emergency Management, Red Cross disaster relief teams are on hand to support to families and individuals in need, by providing safe shelter, food, emergency relief supplies, emotional support, health services, current disaster information and other resources.

We encourage people who plan to stay in a Red Cross shelter to bring prescription medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, other comfort items and important documents. Don’t forget to bring any special items for children, such as diapers, formula, and toys, or for family members who have unique needs.

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