Salvation Army Marks One-Year Anniversary of Central Oklahoma Tornadoes

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Long-term recovery to continue for years to come in affected communities, including Oklahoma City and Moore

One year ago, the world looked on with a mixture of awe and bewilderment as a round of fatal tornadoes terrorized Central Oklahoma. Multiple storms swept through the area, including an EF3, an EF4, and multiple EF5 tornadoes, one of which was recorded as the widest in history, hitting Canadian county. In total, there were 49 casualties and more than $2 billion worth in property damage.

In the wake of the tornadoes, The Salvation Army deployed more than two- dozen mobile kitchens and opened a 100,000 sq. ft. distribution center. The Army provided 389,037 meals, drinks and snacks to those in need, gave 3,681 families financial aid through a variety of different services, and supported 14,728 survivors and first responders with emotional & spiritual care.

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Thanks to generous support from donors, The Salvation Army raised $18.2 million for response and recovery efforts.

“The storms that devastated Central Oklahoma have impacted the lives of residents forever,” said Major Steve Morris, Divisional Commander of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Division of The Salvation Army. “The debris may be gone, but the recovery is going to take a long time.”

Long-term Recovery

The Salvation Army is committed to walking down this long road with those affected. The funds donated by the American public, corporate donors, and philanthropic organizations that were not spent in immediate response efforts are being allocated in a number of different ways – including case management, storm shelter construction and community preparedness.

“It will take a long time for this region’s residents to fully recover from a disaster of this severity,” said Captain Carlyle Gargis, Area Commander of The Salvation Army’s Central Oklahoma Area Command. “We are one of the primary social service providers in this region, and we also have long-standing partnerships that allow us to help our clients meet a very broad range of needs.”

To commemorate the anniversary of each storm, The Salvation Army will release special videos sharing real stories about tornado survivors. To view, please visit The Salvation Army’s YouTube channel  on May 19, May 20, and May 31.

While these videos don’t revere the effects of storms, the stories that these videos contain show restoration made possible by the Army.

To learn more about The Salvation Army click here.