Army disaster units respond after tornadoes sweep through Virginia, North Carolina

By: Shelley Henderson and Karen Yoho

A line of severe storms swept through the mid-Atlantic South on Sunday, April 15, throwing off tornadoes that caused widespread damage, power outages to thousands and a quick Salvation Army response with mobile feeding units (canteens) deployed.

Storms knocked down trees, dropped large hail and caused power outages to more than 75,000 customers in North and South Carolina. The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado with 135 mph winds touched down in several places in Greensboro, North Carolina.

According to the Greensboro city manager, 20 homes and businesses were destroyed, 80 homes and businesses had been reported with major damage, and another 60 had minor damage. The storms affected a total of 320 structures in Greensboro.

The Salvation Army of Greensboro deployed a mobile feeding unit to one of the hardest-hit areas to serve relief workers and families searching for personal belongings and clearing property of debris from the storm.

At lunch Monday, April 16, 300 meals were served. The Salvation Army also provided emotional and spiritual care to survivors and first responders.

“We are here to meet the needs of the community, whether that need is a meal, a shoulder to lean on or groceries, clothing, and household items for people impacted by the storms,” said Major Don Vick of the Greensboro Salvation Army. “It’s heartbreaking to see the devastation of the families, but we are honored to be here to offer hope and a hot meal.”

Meanwhile, strong thunderstorms caused tornado and significant wind damage across Lynchburg and Danville in south central Virginia.

Salvation Army disaster teams provided nourishment and spiritual support to first responders and residents in the most affected areas. The Lynchburg canteen provided mobile feeding throughout the Lynchburg area, while the Roanoke canteen was deployed to the Elon and Amherst communities.

“Our prayers go out to our community this morning, as it does each day. Our shelter is currently open for those who have been affected by the storms,” said Captain Trey Jones of The Salvation Army of Greater Lynchburg.