• Brandi Meiner

Salvation Army Western Division Expands Disaster Relief Effort into Western Iowa in Wake of Devastating Tornadoes

OMAHA, Nebraska (April 27, 2024) – The Salvation Army Western Division entered day two of its Emergency Disaster Services response to Friday’s devastating tornadoes by sending crews across the Missouri River into Iowa to assist there.

Friday’s storm system saw multiple tornadoes drop into eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, one of which struck the community of Minden, Iowa—about 30 miles east of Omaha.  Dozens of houses, commercial buildings, and structures were either heavily damaged or destroyed in that storm.  The town was sealed off to outside traffic after the twister hit Friday evening; so, first thing Saturday (April 27), Salvation Army EDS crews from Omaha set out for Minden after first responders opened access roads.

Salvation Army teams brought food, bottled water, and cleanup kits to Minden; they also assisted with meal service and helped local officials with volunteer intake once in place.  More than one hundred area residents showed up throughout the day Saturday to assist local families and businesses with cleanup and recovery.

Meanwhile, back in Omaha, other Western Division personnel loaded up a canteen with food and bottled water -- and distributed meals to residents in hard-hit residential areas within Elkhorn, a community at the western edge of the metro, parts of which had been cordoned off by first responders Friday into Saturday while debris was cleared.

Elsewhere, The Salvation Army opened its west Omaha donation center to take in disaster-relief material donations; an adjacent local business, Brite Ideas Decorating, also opened its doors to take in donated items for disaster relief.  Throughout the day, metro-area residents dropped off bottled water, Gatorade, and cleaning supplies there in support of the EDS operation, which to date has supported those affected by the storms in the Omaha and Lincoln metro areas as well as in western Iowa.

Plans call for crews to establish a Disaster Relief Center in west Omaha on Sunday as a further means of support to those affected by Friday’s storms. 

Those wishing to make disaster-relief donations in support of The Salvation Army’s efforts in storm-affected areas can do so here.