Salvation Army volunteers pray with a victim of the El Reno tornado on Tuesday night following a rash of severe and deadly storms in Oklahoma.
The Salvation Army in Arkansas and Oklahoma is active in disaster response to several areas as a result of weather related events.
A strong storm system crossed Oklahoma and Arkansas on May 24 that developed multiple thunderstorms and tornadoes across the division.
The Central Oklahoma Area Command has been dispatched to a location West of El Reno to support search, rescue and recovery efforts. The command post is being operated by El Reno Fire Department at Highways 66 and 270. Lunch and dinner will be served to responders at the command post as well as storm survivors.
The El Reno Service Center continues to act as a shelter for those who lost homes. It has also become an information center for residents. The command is also providing transportation for supplies being delivered to Delaware County to assist with response efforts in that area as a result of storms on Sunday.
The Enid canteen continues to serve responders and storm survivors in Woodward County. Damage assessments are still underway in the area.
The Lawton canteen provided breakfast to the shelter at Bible Baptist Church in Chickasha (Grady County) this morning. The Salvation Army is working closely with American Red Cross on shelter operations.
Captain Ernest Hull, Lawton, and Lt. James Biddix of Chickasha are assessing the damage in Grady County and working with emergency management to see if there are further needs.
The Ponca City canteen completed service late last night as search and rescue efforts near Stillwater were completed. Missouri Captain Warren Jones, Sapulpa, and a volunteer continue to be on the scene in Joplin, Missouri where a devastating tornado hit on Sunday evening. They arrived at 3:30 Am on Monday morning.
The canteen, capable of 2,000 meals per day, is now located near St. John’s hospital supporting numerous responders.
Captain Jones said, “On Monday, the faces of the residents were in total shock. It was difficult to even serve a bottle of water or cup of coffee as they didn’t even know they needed it.”
Additionally, flooding still continues to be an issue in both states due to previous storm systems. Arkansas Lt. Josh Robinett, Russellville, will be serving lunch from the Little Rock canteen in Denning (Franklin County) today. Denning was struck by a tornado late last night.
The Salvation Army is working closely with American Red Cross and local emergency management to ensure the immediate needs of responders and survivors are met.
In McGehee (Desha County), The Salvation Army continues to support National Guard troops working on levees along the Mississippi river. Jason Burns, McGehee Service Center, as well as numerous volunteers have served 5,752 meals over 13 days.
Captain David Robinson, Pine Bluff, is also on sit3. Volunteers from Desha and Chicot counties have provided 1,343 hours of service.
The Salvation Army needs financial donations to help in times of disaster. Those who want to help people affected by disasters can make a donation to support Salvation Army Disaster Services.
These gifts make it possible for The Salvation Army to provide food and hydration, emotional and spiritual care, and other assistance to disaster survivors. Visit http://www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY to donate. All donations for disaster services will be used for the designated purpose.