Released 10 April 2009
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LITTLE ROCK (April 10, 2009) - The Salvation Army is responding to the tornadoes that hit the western and southwestern parts of Arkansas last night.
Mena: The Salvation Army has deployed support services to Mena where a tornado hit the heart of the City of Mena, killing three people, injuring more and causing heavy damage to the Polk County Courthouse and by some estimates, more than 100 homes and businesses. Salvation Army Canteens(mobile feeding units) from Little Rock, Fort Smith and McAlester, OK, have been deployed to serve meals and drinks to about 2,500 people including disaster responders and to those impacted by the storm. The Salvation Army teams include Major Harvey Johnson, Central Arkansas Area Commander; Capt. Ric Swartz from McAlester, OK and Capt. Carlyle Gargis from Fort Smith, leading almost 20 officers, staff and volunteers from Oklahoma and Arkansas to provide services, as well as emotional and spiritual care. Several highways were shut down for several hours due to heavy damage and debris scattered throughout the area. Golf ball to baseball-sized hail was reported from multiple locations. Thousands of people are without power in that area of the state. The Salvation Army is working very closely with local and state Emergency Management, local and county officials and Baptist ministries to ensure the needs of those impacted are met. Updates will be provided as we obtain more information this afternoon.
Financial donations are needed to support relief efforts. The Salvation Army asks those who want to help the individual and families affected by the April 10 tornadoes to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and designate Arkansas tornadoes. Monetary donations will ensure The Salvation Army can meet the most immediate needs of those impacted by the storm. Undesignated donations are assigned by the zip code of the donor to the nearest Salvation Army location.