Jackson, MS (February 12, 2014) – Representatives from The Salvation Army EDS department in the Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi division of The Salvation Army continued their work during what is being referred to as a “Catastrophic Event" for some areas of the country.
The Storm swept across the Northern edge of Louisiana last night wreaking havoc on the area. Salvation Army officer, Lt. Jerry Williams stated, “Most of the roads leading to the Salvation Army are to dangerous to travel, but we have been able to keep the location open.” Monroe has doubled the number of shelter occupants due to the cold weather. According to sources within Louisiana emergency management, stated that large portions of the areas surrounding Shreveport and Alexandria are also without power. State crews are actively working on restoring power to these areas. Once the power is back, and the area is safe to move through, Salvation Army representatives will begin their response efforts.
Winter Storm Pax continued its move east crossing into Mississippi around the area of Natchez and continuing NE toward Columbus, MS. This line of storms dropped ice and snow on the state accumulating in some areas. The Salvation Army units along this path will move out into the damaged areas when the roads become safe for passage and determine their next steps. Several of the units in this areas are equipped with Mobile feeding units so they stand ready to respond to their neighbors who may be home bound or without power. The Salvation Army representative stationed at the Mississippi Emergency Operations Center, Britney Williams stated, “Based on the weather updates later this afternoon, we will get a better idea of the next steps the state might take in regard to response efforts”
Winter Storm Pax was originally expected to drop large amounts of Ice on Alabama as it quickly moved eastward, but instead dropped a large amount of snow on the northern portion of the state. The Salvation Army in the Birmingham area allowed for an overflow in their shelters. Several Salvation Army officers in the northern portion of the state have been stationed at county emergency operation centers. Lt. Brian Leonard arranged for a stationary canteen to be placed at the Shelby County emergency operations center. He stated, “I want to take care of those who care for us.”
Apart from some lingering clouds over Louisiana that will make their way eastward tonight, things have settled some in the ALM division. In the coming hours, a fuller assessment will be conducted of the situation, and its impact on the division.