Disasters wreak havoc in U.S.
Salvation Army provides support after tornadoes and floods hit southern states.
Severe weather took a toll in recent months on several southern U.S. states—some cities are still struggling to recover from the devastating onslaughts. The Salvation Army has been—and still is—actively involved in the restoration process.
At last count, 22 tornadoes ripped through the state of Oklahoma on May 10, 2010, causing destruction, power loss and at least five fatalities. The Salvation Army’s Arkansas-Oklahoma Division immediately deployed six mobile feeding and hydration units (canteens).
Captain Ernie Hull of the Ardmore Corps responded with beverage service and snacks for emergency volunteers during the initial search-and-rescue effort. Major John Birks is representing the Army at the State of Oklahoma Emergency Operations Center.
Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama
Responding within three hours after multiple tornadoes hit several southern states on April 24, 2010, Salvation Army Emergency Service units provided food, water and emotional support—10 deaths were confirmed—in five locations.
To date, Army response teams have served more than 830 hot meals and 450 snacks to residents and emergency services personnel in Mississippi. Additional canteens have served in Yazoo City and the Eagle Lake Community, Miss., and Albertville and Fort Payne, Ala.
After severe flooding in Nashville, Tenn., the Army offered assistance through its mobile kitchens while dealing with damages to one of its own Adult Rehabilitation (ARC) locations. Twenty-seven communities in Tennessee were declared disaster areas with a $1 billion damage estimate in Nashville alone.
The ARC facility is completely ruined from water that rose as high as five feet. Army staff remained at the site to begin cleaning and repairing the building, which they hope to have up and running in three to four months.
Although the water level has receded, emergency Army teams are still working in partnership with state and local authorities. They will continue to provide cleaning supplies, food boxes and comfort kits.