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.
(Photo is courtesy of Tupelo Corps: Lt. Thomas Johnson and Mr. William Archie preparing the mobile feeding unit with supplies)
To donate to The Salvation Army’s tornado relief efforts, go to helpsalvationarmy.org.