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Tornadoes rip through Midwest

The Salvation Army on the scene in Woodward, Okla. Photo Courtesy of The Salvation Army national blog

More than 100 tornadoes cause destruction.

The Salvation Army mobilized quickly in the aftermath of tornadoes that swept through Wichita, Kan.; Creston and Thurman, Iowa; and Woodward, Okla., April 16-17. In Oklahoma, five lives were taken and at least 29 injuries have been reported. Ten tornadoes were reported in Kansas and preliminary assessments by Wichita officials estimated the loss in the community to be as much as $283 million.

“We arrived on the scene within a few hours after the tornado,” said Major Douglas Rowland, city commander for The Salvation Army in Wichita. “Later, as we drove through a trailer park that had been destroyed, we came upon a man who was alone, rummaging through the pile of rubble that had once been his home. My wife and I prayed with him that God would somehow help him through it all and feel his presence to continue on.”

Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) mobile canteens are serving tornado victims in Woodward, Okla.; Creston and Thurman, Iowa; as well as Wichita, El Dorado and Pittsburg, Kan., locations. The EDS crews are providing food, beverages, and emotional and spiritual comfort to all who have been impacted by this disaster.

In Kansas, the Army has served more than 1,200 meals and 4,000 snacks and cold drinks to first responders, clean-up crews and survivors. It has also provided more than $3,000 in financial assistance to more than 154 individuals to purchase necessities such as clothing, prescriptions and food. In Thurman, Iowa, more than 1,100 meals were served.

“We are out doing what The Salvation Army does best, providing hope, healing, and help in time of need,” said John Dancer, commanding officer at The Salvation Army of Enid. “We will continue doing the most good, meeting the needs of victims, emergency workers and those affected until we are no longer needed.”

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