The Salvation Army -Nashville left yesterday afternoon and arrived in the storm ravaged areas of Chattanooga, TN which includes Cleveland, TN and Ringgold, GA. In speaking with our Disaster Coordinator on the scene, Ron Harmon, he shared that, “He could not believe his eyes when they drove into the city of Rinngold, GA.” Houses, businesses, churches are leveled or destroyed everywhere the eye can see. Papers, photographs, furniture, clothes; items that once belonged to someone within their home are strewn across fields and wet streets. Cars are flipped upside down, telephone poles and wires lay haphazardly across the main thorough fares and people walk around in a daze; still reeling from Wednesdays life changing event. Many lives were lost; loved ones who only the day before had been there with them; living life never dreaming how quickly and ferociously it would be taken from them in a instant.
Ron states, they fed over 100 people yesterday evening in a neighborhood there in Ringgold, GA. Ron said, no one else had been in that neighborhood and the people sifting through what was left of their homes hadn’t eaten all day. Ron and his crew fed sandwiches and cold drinks to those who smiled and nodded in gratefulness for the meals but still too shocked for long conversation. More importantly than the meals though, TSA Disaster Team members sat on the edge of sidewalks, on the bumper of the canteen and on the cool grass and with loving arms just hugged on those who lost everything. Hands were clasped together in prayer, and individuals cried out for what was lost while at the same time Praising Him for what was saved and spared. The Salvation Army-Nashville in partnership with the Chattanooga Area Command will continue to meet the need morning, noon and night assisting with meals and emotional/spiritual care.
Nashville also assisted in the transport of a canteen on loan from our Owensboro location to the hard hit areas of Johnson City, TN, Kingsport TN and the Greenville, TN area. Josh Lippincott our Director of Volunteer Services was beyond words as we spoke for a few minutes on the phone. He had to take a break a few times as he fought to hold back the tears at the loss of live in that area. Josh mentioned, “they had found an elderly couple in their home, hands held tightly together, arms wrapped around each, hunkered down trying to ride out the storm, but fell victim to it’s power.” Josh mentioned total destruction in so many areas and asked that we all continue to pray for those who lost loved ones, those who suffered injuries and those who are still missing.
Thank you to everyone who has sent out prayer on behalf of those affected by these storms as well as for those working diligently to find the lost and tend to the wounded. If you wish to donate, there are 3 ways you can help to meet the need at the point of need all over the south!
- Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and designate April 2011 Tornado Outbreak.
- Text “GIVE” to 80888 for Tornado Disaster Relief
- Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 100339, Atlanta, GA 30384-0339