UPDATE: Severe Weather Outbreak in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi

(April 17, 2019) After the tornado that struck Hamilton, MS on Saturday, April 13th first responders entered the area to provide aid to those affected by the storm. The Salvation Army was there as well to assist in recovery efforts. In the days that have followed, The Salvation Army has served this hard-hit community with material aid and spiritual comfort.

According to Lieutenant Christian Smith, Columbus Salvation Army Corps Officer, they are keeping an eye on forecasts of more severe weather coming through the area on Thursday, which may require a temporary hold on service delivery. However, The Salvation Army plans to continue serving the affected community before and after any new storms that may come through. “We’re going to get as much aid out there as possible before the storms hit,” said Lt. Smith.

The Salvation Army will continue to serve the area as the need continues. A multi-agency distribution site was set up at the Hamilton Baptist Church. This distribution site will remain open through the weekend, to ensure they can meet the needs of the community.

To date, The Salvation Army has provided 240 meals, 306 snacks, 294 drinks, 73 clean-up kits, 73 hygiene kits, 13 food boxes, 30 tarps, 8 infant supplies, and 101 cases of water to tornado survivors and first responders in Mississippi and Alabama in response to the tornadoes that struck over the weekend of April 13-14, 2019.

To donate to The Salvation Army’s tornado relief efforts, go to helpsalvationarmy.org.

                                                                                                 

(April 15, 2019) – The Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi Division of The Salvation Army is continuing to assess needs and serve those affected by storms that struck the three state area over the course of the weekend, beginning on Saturday, April 13, 2019. The heaviest damage occurred from a tornado that struck Hamilton, MS, on Saturday night. Across the state line, Troy, Alabama also sustained significant damage from a Sunday morning tornado.

While first responders secured the affected areas and assessed the surrounding situation in the Hamilton, MS community, two mobile feeding units— one from Columbus and the other from Tupelo— arrived to help serve those in need. According to Lt. Christian Smith, Corps Officer of The Salvation Army in Columbus, 30 meals and 144 bottles of water were provided to those affected and the first responders there to render aid on Sunday. Lieutenant Smith says, “We’re planning on serving about 50 lunches and dinners today to both the affected community members and relief workers in the area.”

According to Kimberly May, manager of The Salvation Army Pike County Service Center, a mobile feeding unit from The Salvation Army Dothan Corps assisted her to help serve those affected in the Troy community. 60 meals were served to those living and providing disaster relief in the affected mobile home estates community of Hunters Mountain. They will continue their support today by providing lunch in the area.

Although, there is plenty of debris left in the path of the storms, fortunately many willing hands have arrived in the affected communities to engage in the clean-up and make the recovery process as short as possible. “The community has really come together to help,” says Kimberly.

To donate to The Salvation Army’s tornado relief efforts, go to helpsalvationarmy.org.

                                                                                                 

The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division experienced a round of severe weather beginning Saturday, April 13, 2019 which has left a path of destruction throughout the three states to include downed trees and power lines, flash flooding and structural damage to more than a few communities.

Now that the system has exited the Division and moved into Georgia, Salvation Army representatives are assessing the current and future needs of the affected areas with local emergency management.

Thus far, the most severely damaged area lies in the rural community of Hamilton, Mississippi located in Monroe County. This close-knit community was struck by a tornado on Saturday evening, resulting in one confirmed fatality. The area is served by the Columbus Mississippi Salvation Army Corps which operates at the command of Lieutenant Christian Smith.

Unfortunately, Lt. Smith is no stranger to tornadoes. His own community was struck by an EF-3 tornado on February 24, 2019. For the February event, Lt. Smith quickly mobilized the Corps mobile feeding unit to provide snacks, hydration and emotional and spiritual care for Columbus residents. Once again, he is coordinating efforts to provide similar service delivery for Hamilton residents.

Lieutenant Smith reports, “As an ordained minister and a resident of north Mississippi, it is my honor to serve those affected by such a devastating storm. It is amazing how a snack or hot meal received from the hands of those who care not only nourishes the body, but the soul.”

A two-person team and mobile feeding unit from Tupelo, MS is also en route to support the efforts of the Columbus Corps.

Across the state line in Alabama the Salvation Army Dothan and Montgomery Corps will be serving along with the Pike County Service Center to provide service delivery in the community of Troy, Alabama.

 

 

 

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