Oklahoma City, OK (June 27, 2023) The Arkansas-Oklahoma division has experienced a series of powerful storm systems over the past few weeks, resulting in significant impact across the region. On June 17, Northeast Oklahoma, particularly the metro Tulsa area, experienced winds up to 100 mph. Severe storms rolled through Central Arkansas causing downed trees, structure damage and thousands of power outages on June 24th.
In Northeast Oklahoma’s metro Tulsa area, the impact of the storm led to the downing of multiple trees, leaving a path of devastation. The storm’s intensity caused more than 400,000 electrical outages throughout the impacted area, resulting in the loss of refrigerated goods and other essential supplies. The Sand Springs’ Salvation Army location was not spared from the storm’s wrath, as the building sustained damage during the severe weather event. Despite the challenges faced, The Salvation Army’s newly appointed officer was out on the mobile feeding unit to help support the community. “On my first official day as the Sand Springs officer, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude as I wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to dive headfirst into serving this remarkable community. It was an honor to interact with the citizens of Sand Springs and provide them hope by handing out hot meals, drinks, and emotional care during a time of disaster,” Lt. Mariah Deshazo, Sand Springs Corps Officer.
Responding to the crisis, the Tulsa Salvation Army initiated a response effort to alleviate the hardships faced by the affected population. A team was deployed to the Sand Springs area, providing meals, snacks, and hydration to residents in need to bring relief and comfort to individuals impacted by the storm.
Furthermore, The Salvation Army extended its support, collaborating with the City of Tulsa to provide aid on a larger scale. A truckload of food boxes, along with two pallets of snacks and three pallets of water, was supplied for distribution throughout the city. This collaborative approach ensured that affected communities received vital resources to aid in their recovery.
In response to the recent power outages caused by Sunday evening’s storms in the Little Rock area, the Central Arkansas Area Command is taking action as temperatures continue to rise. Deploying their mobile feeding unit, they are providing drinks, snacks, and popsicles to the affected community. The Area Command itself is currently without power, while the North Little Rock, located in the same area, suffered damage from a large tree. It is worth noting that this region had previously experienced destruction from devastating tornadoes in March. Once again, The Salvation Army is dedicated to serving and supporting those affected by both the recent storms and the events in March, ensuring assistance reaches those who need it most.
The Emergency Disaster Services Director has traveled to the areas to work with partners to determine any needs The Salvation Army could be of assistance. The Salvation Army continues to work with Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) as well as emergency management, and other partners to assess any further needs in both Arkansas and Oklahoma.