July 25, 2008
The Salvation Army of Texas again rallied its Canteens (mobile kitchens) on Friday to serve victims and first responders in areas hardest hit by Hurricane Dolly. In an effort to meet the new needs being uncovered daily, The Salvation Army is sending six additional Canteens to add to the active fleet already serving thousands of meals to Dolly victims daily. The six new canteens arriving Saturday hale from Beaumont, Laredo, Dallas, Port Arthur, Lufkin and San Antonio, TX.
On Saturday morning, The Salvation Army's Incident Command Post in McAllen, TX, will stock and send Canteens to 18 locations across Willacy, Hidalgo and Cameron Counties to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cities to be served include Raymondville, Pharr, San Benito (2 locations), South Padre Island, Port Isabel, Harlingen (3 locations), Los Fresnos, Santa Rosa, Brownsville, La Feria, Elsa, Laguna Vista, Rio Hondo, Weslaco and McAllen.
July 24, 2008
The Salvation Army disaster teams braced themselves as Hurricane Dolly made landfall in Texas this afternoon as a category 2 hurricane. With winds blowing up to 110 mph, Dolly is leaving her mark on South Texas.
It has been reported that the initial damage is primarily in the South Padre Island, Port Isabella and Brownsville region. Thousands of Texans are without power in South Texas tonight, as the danger of flooding increases with the storm. The Salvation Army properties in Corpus Christi and Harlingen have not sustained any noticeable damage.
The Salvation Army has 12 mobile feeding units from across the state positioned in McAllen and are currently serving approximately 1,000 evacuees at the local Salvation Army Corps building and several area schools.
Meals are being prepared in the McAllen shelter kitchen, placed in cambros for transportation, then served from Salvation Army mobile feeding units, or Canteens, at four emergency shelter locations in Hidalgo County. The Salvation Army served 1,052 people during dinner on Wednesday night alone.
The Salvation Army Shelter in McAllen opened Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The shelter has the capacity to hold up to 200 Dolly evacuees, and currently has 167 people waiting out the storm within its walls.
Major Dan Ford, Incident Commander for The Salvation Army Hurricane Dolly recovery efforts said, "With power flashing in and out due to the hurricane, The Salvation Army is doing what we can to keep people fed and out of harms way until the storm has subsided and the Canteens can be deployed into the hardest hit areas."
Thursday morning, once breakfast has been served, The Salvation Army will deploy its canteens into the affected areas, serving first responders and victims of Hurricane Dolly.
July 23, 2008
Hurricane Dolly is already beginning to affect South Padre Island with light rains and wind. The eye is expected to make landfall between 10:00 AM and noon Wednesday. The major concern centers around power outages and potential flooding. Estimates have called for as much as 15" of rain for the Brownsville-Harlingen areas.
As for The Salvation Army, we have already served 975 meals and have eight canteens staged in McAllen at the HEB warehouse. The building is large enough for us to park our units inside. They are stocked and ready to go once the storm passes and the roads are open. Four more are on standby should rain and wide-spread flooding require additional units. Major Dan Ford is the Incident Commander and Major Ernie Branscum is the Operations Chief (canteens).
Doyle Grindele is on his way with water, clean-up kits, and other supplies. He will rendezvous with the canteens in McAllen.
The units involved are: Harlingen, McAllen, Corpus Christi, Conroe, Waco, Tyler, Pasadena, Austin, Lubbock, Abilene, Fort Worth, and San Angelo.
Captain Mary Meredith is at the State Operations Center (SOC) in Austin performing well as our information and logistics contact with the State.
The Salvation Army is need of cots to set up in shelters to sleep victims of Dolly.
The Salvation Army of Texas is ready to respond to Tropical Storm Dolly, projected to make landfall Wednesday afternoon near Brownsville, TX. The first tropical storm predicted to hit Texas this season is expected to cause flooding and power outages, but mandatory evacuations have not yet been declared.
Divisional Disaster Director, Al Ritson, will determine The Salvation Army's response after assessing the damage upon Dolly's arrival to the shores of Texas. Major Dan Ford, of McAllen, TX, will lead The Salvation Army's Disaster Response Team into affected areas once the storm has passed.
Major James Taylor, Divisional Secretary for The Salvation Army of Texas has placed disaster teams and mobile feeding units on standby from McAllen, Harlingen, Corpus Christi, Victoria, and San Antonio, should their services be needed. If additional mobile feeding units are required The Salvation Army will call teams from Houston, Conroe, Pasadena, Texas City, Galveston, and Freeport.
At this time, the state is positioning 250 school buses in San Antonio and The Salvation Army is prepared to feed them prior to the landfall of the storm if called upon.