Samaritan’s Purse is responding to help victims after devastating storms
Powerful storm systems swept through the central and southern United States Sunday and Monday, killing at least 29 people and causing widespread devastation in more than half a dozen states.
Samaritan’s Purse is responding by sending staff and volunteers to at least three locations. Our teams will be working to remove debris, put tarp on damaged roofs, and help homeowners salvage personal belongings. Working in conjunction with chaplains with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, we will be sharing the hope of Jesus Christ with storm victims.
On Sunday, severe weather wreaked havoc in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Iowa. Most of the destruction took place in Arkansas, where a deadly twister touched down in Faulkner County, northwest of Little Rock, the state capital. Entire neighborhoods were wiped out in the towns of Mayflower and Vilonia.
Samaritan’s Purse staff members are in Mayflower to begin relief efforts. A Disaster Relief Unit was deployed from our U.S. Disaster Relief headquarters in North Carolina on Monday, and is staged at First Baptist Church in Mayflower. The tractor-trailer is stocked with heavy-duty plastic, chainsaws, generators, and other tools and equipment. The unit will serve as a command center for the response.
We are also assessing the area surrounding Vilonia to see if we can serve the community from our base in Mayflower, or if another unit will need to be deployed.
A program manager is arriving Tuesday to assess the damage and meet with emergency management in Baxter Springs, Kansas. This city is in close proximity to two other hard-hit areas: Hume, Missouri and Quapow, Oklahoma. A Disaster Relief Unit is scheduled to arrive Wednesday.
On Monday, a storm system produced tornadoes in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. At least 11 people were killed. A Disaster Relief Unit is being deployed Tuesday for Louisville, Mississippi, after receiving a request from the area’s emergency management. We are monitoring the situation in other states and are in touch with disaster response personnel to see how we can help.
Severe weather remains in the forecast on Tuesday, with weather warnings in effect throughout much of the country. Please pray for victims of these tragic storms, for those still at risk, and for our teams as we begin to respond.