EDS Teams Respond to Flooding in ALM & Texas Divisions
By: Dan Childs
Salvation Army disaster relief units from the Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi and Texas divisions went to work after heavy rains caused flooding across southern Mississippi, Louisiana and southeastern Texas.
In Mississippi, The Salvation Army operated a shelter in Greenville and sent 150 cleanup kits to that community. The Army also supported shelters in Hattiesburg and McComb and provided assistance to first responders and residents in Perry and Forrest counties, where flooding of the Leaf River forced residents from their homes.
In Louisiana, four Army disaster canteens served first responders and residents in Shreveport and Monroe and provided cleanup kits as displaced residents began making their way back to their homes. In Lake Charles, in southwest Louisiana, many residents evacuated their homes and flood waters closed a stretch of Interstate 10 near the Louisiana-Texas state line. Lieutenant Richard Watts, Lake Charles corps officer coordinated closely with Calcasieu Parish emergency officials.
As flood waters rose in southeast Texas, Salvation Army disaster teams delivered assistance and support to residents and first responders.
Volunteers from The Salvation Army’s Newton County Service Unit assisted affected residents from surrounding communities. A distribution center was established at the Newton County Agriculture Building, where cleanup kits, bottled water and donated clothing were available to those who experienced significant losses due to the flooding. Emergency assistance in the form of gift cards, was distributed by Salvation Army staff and volunteers in conjunction with individual and family case management.
Four Salvation Army disaster vehicles are currently in use in the area; a mobile kitchen, two catering trucks, and a Rapid Response Unit. The mobile kitchen from the Pasadena Corps deployed at the Newton distribution center where staff provided meals serving the Newton, Kirbyville and Burkeville areas. The Rapid Response Unit served throughout northern Orange County, Jasper and Newton counties, providing meals and hydration to first responders and residents in need.
Volunteers Dwayne and Diane Walters, from The Salvation Army in Bryan College Station, arrived in the area, serving for several days. The couple worked in the extensive relief effort following the tornadoes that hit Dallas in December and in El Paso during the Papal visit to Juarez, Mexico, in February. “Thousands of people have been displaced from their homes and many more are trapped or are working to salvage what they can. We are privileged to serve with The Salvation Army and happy to help in any way we can,” said Dwayne, who is also a Salvation Army advisory board member.