HOUSTON, Texas (FOX 44) – Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services staff and volunteers are providing assistance to first responders and impacted communities after a tornado hit the Houston area on Tuesday afternoon.
The organization said in a press release on Thursday morning that damage assessment continues in several communities after the storm moved through southeast Houston – causing significant damage and loss of power in Deer Park, Pasadena and Baytown.
The Salvation Army mobilized its disaster response teams and mobile feeding units within a few hours of the storm in order to cater to affected residents. Service continued on Wednesday, with feeding locations established in Deer Park and Pasadena.
Captain Dante Salgado, The Salvation Army Officer in Pasadena, Texas, was in The Salvation Army church building when the storm swept through the area, “The tornado made landfall really close to our building around 2:30 PM, only about three blocks away. We were inside already preparing to go out and serve those affected in our community. We pulled out in the mobile kitchen around 6 p.m. and served more than 200 meals, 400 drinks and 200 snacks in little over an hour. Many people in the area were without power and were looking for a hot meal, but businesses and restaurants were also without electricity. I am proud that The Salvation Army was there and ready to provide a meal and an encouraging word to those caught up in the chaos of the situation.”
At the request of Mayor Jeff Wagner, the Pasadena response team will continue to serve through this Friday.
The Salvation Army also established feeding sites in Deer Park, at the Central Baptist Church on Oak Street and at the corner of Center Park Street and Oak Street. As the storm moved to the east, other cities experienced strong winds and heavy rain – and two tornadoes touched down in Jefferson and Orange Counties.
The Salvation Army in Orange deployed a disaster team in a Rapid Response Vehicle on Wednesday afternoon. This modified pickup truck assessed areas of damage and provided lunch, snacks and hydration.
“Much of Orange is without power and there is isolated damage from the tornado that hit our community,” said Captain Jan Zuniga, Commanding Officer in Orange. “We will continue assessing the needs in the coming days and remain in communication with our city officials, especially as people are without power and the weather is so cold.”
In addition to meal service, the Salvation Army is also providing clean up kits and tarps in impacted areas.