Lawrence, MA (September 14, 2018)--On Thursday, September 13, The Salvation Army Massachusetts Division provided Emergency Disaster Service support to first responders and local residents in three communities north of Boston after a series of gas explosions rocked the community. An estimated 8,000 people were displaced by Thursday’s natural gas incident, which is being described as “Armageddon.” The blasts forced entire neighborhoods in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover to evacuate as local officials scrambled to shut off gas and fight local flames. Between 60-80 fires and three explosions were reported. Nearly 18,000 customers are without power. Gas has been turned off to more than 8,600 homes.
In coordination with other first responders, The Salvation Army canteen and crew deployed to the Operation Staging area and Evacuee Reception Centers to provide hydration, snacks, meals and emotional and spiritual care to responding personnel and local residents. Between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, our EDS personnel have served:
More than 1000 meals
More than 2350 snacks
More than 1660 beverages
More than 770 cups of coffee
With seven mobile feeding units deployed, more than 11 EDS Teams from across the state responded to the site. Five will continue to be in the community today and for as long as needed.
Additionally, The Salvation Army will be stepping in to provide meals to 500-600 First Responders and Survivors at two staging areas and three of the four local shelters.
“When a disaster like this strikes, The Salvation Army is always there for the community,” said Chris Farrand, Salvation Army Massachusetts Director Emergency Disaster Services. “As soon as this emergency is over, we are immediately shifting modes to help local residents rebuild and recover from what they have lost.”
Neighboring Salvation Army worship and community centers from Lawrence, Lowell, Haverhill, and Fitchburg immediately stepped in to help and have been engaged since our initial EDS response.
The Salvation Army Massachusetts Division serves communities statewide, providing physical, emotional, and spiritual care.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyMA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyMA.
About The Salvation Army