• Cindy Fuller

Salvation Army Units Mobilize As Winter Storm Hits Oklahoma and Arkansas

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK  –  As severe winter weather impacts significant portions of the United States, The Salvation Army's Arkansas-Oklahoma Division was ready, placing disaster canteens on stand-by, offering extra bed space in local shelters, and opening emergency warming centers.

Central Oklahoma has received approximately 12” of snow and northeast Oklahoma upwards of 15”.  Northwest Arkansas is reporting ¾” ice and 4” – 6” of snow.   The storm is moving quickly out of western and central Oklahoma and is expected to be out of both states by around 7:00 PM this evening.  Wind gusts of up to 48 – 50 mph are common across Oklahoma and wind chills are running up to 20 below zero.

Salvation Army Activities

Central Oklahoma Area Command: In Oklahoma City, The Salvation Army housed 56 men, 20 women, and 12 children in the Family Shelter.  88 people were served breakfast this morning. The shelter remains open as a warming center.   Leslie Johnson, Canadian County Service Center Director, opened The Salvation Army center last night in El Reno and is running a warming station there.  Robert Douglas, Shelter Director in Norman, reports 25 people sheltered last night.

Lawton, OKHad an additional 9 persons in the shelter due to the weather.

Northwest ArkansasThe Salvation Army Fayetteville shelter housed 41 guests last night during the cold weather.  All of them were served a hot breakfast this morning.  The Fayetteville Shelter has 22 individuals in our warming center.  We provided 15 snacks and 49 drinks at the Fayetteville Shelter.  The Bentonville Shelter has 18 individuals in our warming center.  A hot lunch was provided to all.  We provided 10 snacks and 39 drinks at the Bentonville Shelter.  The shelters in Northwest Arkansas will remain open on a 24 hour during the inclement weather.

Tulsa Metro Area Command:  Under normal conditions, overnight guests average at 289. Last night 368 people stayed at the center and 825 meals were served last night.  Last night FEMA delivered five truckloads of supplies including cots, blankets and ready to eat meals should the need arise and the State releases the supplies. The Salvation Army mobile feeding unit is ready to be dispatched as needed, with a capability to feed 5,000 people a day.

Salvation Army personnel continue to work with state emergency management officials in both Arkanas and Oklahoma to coordinate emergency services and provide assistance.  Both states remain under a State of Emergency.