Salvation Army responds to Easter Sunday tornado outbreak in South

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A tornado outbreak in the South has killed at least 26 people and left some 800,000 residents without power.

Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi all declared a state of emergency in response to the storms, which started late Easter Sunday morning and continued into Monday.

The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi (ALM) Division is responding to the outbreak across the region. 

“The Salvation Army is continuing to assess service delivery needs in affected communities with local emergency management while also considering COVID-19 social distancing precautions,” said Terry Lightheart, Divisional Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division. “We realize this severe weather event, coupled with COVID-19, is likely a time of great difficulty and increasing anxiety.”

Captain Jerry Casey, Corps Officer in Monroe, Louisiana, loaded up his mobile feeding unit and went out to tornado-damaged neighborhoods on Sunday afternoon to provide sandwiches, drinks, and snacks to residents and first responders.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic adds new challenges to providing emergency disaster relief,” Casey said. “We’re being careful to wear a mask and gloves, and we’re taking social distancing precautions while serving the public.”

He plans to be back out in the community serving again today.

Beyond The Salvation Army’s local service delivery of meals, snacks, and beverages, it’s established an Emotional and Spiritual Care Hotline at 844-458-HOPE (4673), available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT seven days a week. 

“This is not how anyone wants to celebrate Easter Sunday,” Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said on social media. “As we reflect on the death and resurrection on this Easter Sunday, we have faith that we will all rise together.”

To support relief efforts, visit helpsalvationarmy.org

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