Thursday, April 28, 2011

Salvation Army Responds to Deadly Tornadoes Across Southern USA

Yesterday evening the southern United States were hammered by devastating storms that moved through the region.  The storms caused more than 130 tornadoes stretching from Mississippi all the way across to Georgia, and as far north as Virginia and Maryland.
One of the hardest hit areas was Alabama as tornadoes ripped through Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, before moving on to Georgia and Tennessee.  The Salvation Army facility in Tuscaloosa was destroyed along with the canteen there. More than 270 people have lost their lives due to these storms and that number is expected to rise over the coming days, though miraculously no one from the Army was seriously injured or killed.
Canteens were on the ground last night and as of this morning a large scale response is being mobilized to assist those affected.  Meals are already being served in various communities as volunteers and staff work to try and meet the basic needs of those that have lost everything. 
The following is an excerpt from the most recent article posted on the National EDS Website: .  Follow that site in order to see the most up to date info on the Army’s ongoing response to the tornadoes and other disasters.

Arkansas – An EDS mobile feeding unit has been sent to the Pocahontas area of Randolph County.  The main levee protecting that town from the Black River has broken as of 10:00am today.  Highway 67 between Pocahontas and Walnut Ridge is under water. 
Alabama – Alabama, which was especially hard hit, has seen the death count rise to approximately 180 people.  Salvation Army EDS personnel and mobile feeding units are serving multiple locations throughout the state.  Three mobile feeding crews are serving in Tuscaloosa, two in Guntersville, one in Phil Campbell, one in Marion County, one in Molten, and six in Birmingham.  The Salvation Army Corps and Shelter in Tuscaloosa was destroyed as tornadoes ripped through the area.  
Mississippi – Mobile feeding units are currently serving residents of Kemper County, Webster County, and Oxford.  Additionally information will be shared as reports are made available.
Tennessee – EDS personnel are actively serving residents of Cleveland, Chattanooga, Murfreesboro, Dyersburg, Greenville, and Memphis.  Additional units are on standby throughout the state ready to respond as needed. 
Cleveland, TN:  EDS staff and more than 100 volunteers have provided approximately 800 meals to first responders and victims through mobile feeding operations.  Additionally, beverages and snacks are being provided to emergency shelter residents at St. Theresa's Catholic Church. 
Chattanooga, TN:  The Salvation Army served throughout the night in Catoosa County, GA where there were a confirmed 30 severe injuries and 7 fatalities.  Mobile kitchen units are currently serving in Walker, Dade, Catoosa, and Hamilton Counties.  The Salvation Army is partnering with the Chattanooga Red Cross and The Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief to meet shelter and food needs of affected residents.
Murfreesboro, TN:  The Salvation Army has deployed its canteen and is currently serving storm damaged areas with emergency food, drink, and clean-up kits.  Reports have been given to The Salvation Army which indicate that more than 150 homes have been affected and that residents face at least 72 hours without electricity. 
Dyersburg, TN:  The community of Southtown in Dyer County has been evacuated to Dyersburg for fear of levee failure.  The Salvation Army will be feeding temporary shelter residents from their soup kitchen in Dyersburg.  Mobile feeding units will serve volunteers who are sand bagging areas in an effort to save homes.
Clarksville, TN:  The Salvation Army in Clarksville had to evacuate their building due to flooding.  Despite this setback, EDS personnel are assessing local flood damage and are prepared to serve as needed.
Greenville, TN:  Stationary and roving feeding units are in place and serving flooded areas. 
Memphis, TN:  The Salvation Army of Memphis has served breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Emergency Operations Center and are providing the above meals to those who are filling sandbags at the Pyramid.  EDS personnel are also on standby to provide mass feeding to potential flood victims. 
Kentucky – Following severe storms yesterday and today, the state of Kentucky faces extensive flood risks.
Paducah, KY:  The Salvation Army of Paducah is providing meals, beverages, and support for the local temporary emergency shelter serving flood evacuees.  Preparations are also being made to support sandbagging efforts. 
Henderson, KY:  The Salvation Army of Henderson is currently assessing potential flood damage.  The town of Reed has been evacuated.  They continue to respond to the tornado that hit Poole, KY.  EDS personnel have been requested to provide assistance in Union County to deliver meals to those sandbagging.  Teams are on standby to provide meals to the local shelter.
Louisville, KY:  The Louisville Salvation Army is on standby to serve should there be any flooding and continues to monitor the rising waters.
Georgia – The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services teams in Georgia are on standby and ready to serve victims, first responders, and volunteers from mobile feeding units in Georgia and Alabama.  In addition to feeding, The Salvation Army is prepared to provide clean-up kits containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies, hygiene kits, and emotional/spiritual care.  Because of recorded deaths and destruction in Catoosa, Floyd and Walker Counties, Governor Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for Georgia.  
The Salvation Army response to disasters is dependent upon the generous support of our donors.  To help support the tornado response you can text “GIVE” to 80888 to give a $10 donation.  You can also give online or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY designating your gift to “April 2011 Tornado Outbreak”.

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