Grand Forks, N.D. officer sends glimpses of Puerto Rico aftermath
The leader of The Salvation Army in Grand Forks, N.D. is on the ground in Puerto Rico, and the stories and images he’s been sending back are amazing.
Since last week, Lt. Matthew Beatty (pictured at top) has been serving survivors of Hurricane Maria on behalf of The Salvation Army’s Disaster Services Team. Currently he is distributing portable water purifiers (pictured right) to people and families in the southeast corner of the island. Each purifier can treat up to 600 gallons of water.
“Yesterday, enough (purifiers) were given out to purify over 54,000 gallons of water,” Beatty wrote on his Facebook page, adding that the main local water source is nothing more than dirty water running off the side of a mountain (pictured below).
More supplies are needed where Beatty is serving, but fallen trees have made areas of the region virtually inaccessible. Beatty and others are “helping to remove these fallen trees to let other crews in,” he wrote.
Beatty is one of hundreds of Salvation Army staff and volunteers who together have served more than 1.2 million people since Maria made landfall Sept. 18, including the distribution of 1.8 million meals and drinks, and 42,000 articles of clothing.
This isn’t Beatty’s first time serving overseas. In 2013, he spent two months with a Salvation Army disaster team in the Philippines helping survivors of Typhoon Haiyan – one of the most devastating tropical cyclones in recorded history.