A Christmas Eve storm in Catoosa, OK downed power lines and started a fire that resulted in gas service being turned off in the area. When service to one mobile home park was set to be turned back on, the line failed its pressure test. Work was immediately begun to fix the lines, but the estimated time frame for complete restoration was several weeks.
57 households were left without gas for heating, cooking, showering and protection of water pipes with freezing temperatures expected. Many of these affected households lack resources to recover or relocated during this period.
The Salvation Army began support by providing space heaters and blankets to the affected families. As freezing temperatures continue, The Salvation Army has partnered with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief to provide hot meals. Catholic Charities provided food boxes to the families, and a shower has been opened at a nearby school and manned by volunteers.
The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services is working on securing laundry services as funding allows. As return of gas service is still expected to be a week or more away, The Salvation Army will continue to monitor the situation and help residents wherever possible.
“We are blessed to be able to serve this community,” said Laurie Fried, Divisional Disaster Director for the Arkansas-Oklahoma Division. “We will continue to work with our partner agencies to ensure we are meeting every need possible.”