Released 11 April 2009
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MENA (April 11, 2009) - The Salvation Army continues to respond in Mena, Arkansas where a deadly tornado struck this past Thursday evening. Emergency Disaster Services are also being provided to the community of DeQueen which is approximately 50 miles south of Mena.
The Mena Thrift Store, built new approximately 10 years ago, had a one year-old fence and a four-month old parking lot. The storm blew out the glass entry door, tore off siding and part of the roof, as well as damaging awnings. Trees were uprooted landing on the fence, gates and tearing up the parking lot. Clothing was strewn afar. Additionally, there were three sheds for storage immediately behind the store. Two of the sheds are still standing and not harmed; however, the whereabouts of shed between those two is unknown. The items in the shed are still present. Unfortunately, the store is so severely damaged; the store will be unable to conduct business for quite some time.
The Mena Service Unit Chair is Vice President of Union Bank of Mena. At daylight, he immediately secured the cash register, computers, fax machine and copier from the store. He is also helping along with his bank by cooking and providing needed refreshments. While doing this, he has on a Salvation Army cap. Pete Johnson, another long-term board member, is also involved in helping with disaster response.
In DeQueen, Arkansas, a mobile home park was heavily damaged where an estimated 25 homes were destroyed. All of these residents were displaced by remnants of the deadly storm. The Thrift Store manager, a resident of DeQueen, went to work on Good Friday to assist those affected by the storm. Four families were provided temporary lodging in a local hotel, Clothing, bedding, and shoes for provided for all 25 families. Food vouchers were provided for four families consisting of 22 individuals.
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.