MISSOULA — Thursday afternoon's severe weather that hit the Missoula area caused heavy damage at the Temporary Safe Outdoor Space (TSOS) along Highway 93.
The United Way of Missoula County has put out a call for donations of new or gently-used two- or four-person tents to replace those destroyed during Thursday’s unexpectedly strong wind and rainstorm.
The storm destroyed the majority of tents inhabited by the 15 residents currently living in the TSOS, according to United Way chief executive officer Susan Hay Patrick.
“The 20 tents erected on the site in December, while high-quality, were designed to be erected for recreational purposes, perhaps several times a year, not to be lived in during all weather conditions for seven months,” Patrick said.
“Before Thursday’s storm, we had already been scouring local, regional, and national tent providers for about 30 tents (which would give us 10 extra),” Patrick said. “This has been a challenge, due largely to low inventory nationwide."
Patrick said that a number of tents were purchased locally on Friday, to replace those destroyed Thursday evening, but they are too large to fit on the platforms at the TSOS.
“We’ll erect the new tents on the ground if we have to, but that’s not ideal,” Patrick said, “so we’re asking generous Missoulians for donations of new or gently-used tents that would fit on an 8x12-ft. platform.”
She asked people wishing to donate to email TSOS@missoulaunitedway.org to arrange any donations and asked that donations not be dropped off at the TSOS.