Emergency Disaster Service teams busy in July
July of 2016 will go down as one of the busiest months recent memory for The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster teams in Minnesota and North Dakota. From fires to floods and tornadoes, teams have responded to dozens of incidents and continue to support areas still impacted by disaster.
Hill City Storm
“So far the Hill City relief site is still open, but will close tonight at 7 p.m.,” explained Joanne Johnson Lee, Salvation Army Service Extension administrator. “We’ve served a lot of people since last Thursday after many were left without power for days.”
The storm passed through Hill City in the early morning hours on July 21 and damage to the town was extensive. Roofs were torn off buildings, trees were downed and boats on lakes were toppled. The storm knocked out power to thousands of people, during one of the hottest weekends of the year.
The Salvation Army and volunteers from area churches worked together to provide food, drinks and comfort for families affected. The Army’s mobile kitchen served more than 1,000 lunches from Thursday through Sunday, while local churches provided dinner in the evenings.
Tornadoes in Litchfield and Watkins
Emergency Disaster Services also served in Litchfied, after a tornado hit on July 11. The storm downed many trees and damaged dozens of homes along with a barn. The following day The Salvation Army’s mobile kitchen served meals, snacks and drinks to 150 people.
The mobile kitchen crew consisted of three volunteers along with a Salvation Army officer from Willmar. That same night a tornado also touched down in Watkins, just northeast of Litchfield. However, local county emergency providers were able to provide all of the support that was needed there.
Flooding in Central Minnesota
That same week of July 11, flooding hit areas of Minnesota. The Salvation Army delivered hundreds of flood cleanup kits to St. Cloud, Hinckley and Aitkin. They also as served nearly 300 meals in the Willow River area.
The cleanup kits consist of five gallon buckets filled with all sorts of supplies to help clean a water damaged home. They come complete with bleach, sponges, squeegees and scrub brushes as well as latex gloves, work gloves and dust masks.
Fire in Fargo
Battling 90 degree heat and a fast moving fire, extra fire fighters had to be called in to help–as flames jumped as high as 20 feet in the air.
The intense heat meant that firefighters needed water, gatorade and snacks provided by The Salvation Army.
Firefighters said the fire moved quickly, one minute there was smoke coming out of the building and the next there were flames 20 feet above the roof. Damage was limited to the restaurant and fortunately nobody was injured.
There’s no telling what the last few remaining days of the month will bring, but you can count on The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster teams to be ready.