May 21, 2013. As twisters ripped apart communities near Oklahoma City, Samaritan’s Purse immediately began mobilizing disaster relief experts and resources to send to the area. The North Carolina-based Christian relief organization will be providing emergency assistance as well as cleaning and repairing damaged homes.
A Disaster Relief Unit is scheduled to deploy before dawn Tuesday from North Wilkesboro, N.C., to travel to Oklahoma. The tractor-trailer is stocked with heavy-duty plastic, chainsaws, generators, and other tools and equipment. The unit also will serve as a command center for the response.
“Our prayers are with all of those who are suffering because of this massive storm,” said Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham. “We are going to stand by them and do everything we can to help them recover physically, emotionally and spiritually.”
Samaritan’s Purse also provided relief in Moore, Okla., after a tornado destroyed more than 1,000 homes in the area in 1999.
A Disaster Relief Unit leaving at 5:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 21, from the Samaritan’s Purse U.S. Disaster Relief headquarters at 411 Elkin Highway, North Wilkesboro, N.C.
Samaritan’s Purse staff and volunteers are currently on the ground in Hood County, Texas, helping survivors of a tornado that struck there on May 15. The international relief and evangelism organization has helped more than 27,000 families in 31 states in the wake of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and ice storms.
Samaritan’s Purse Is Responding To Devastating Tornadoes That Hit The Oklahoma City Area
Samaritan’s Purse is responding to a series of vicious storms that pounded the Oklahoma City area Sunday and Monday.
Staff members are on their way to the affected area to determine how we can help the people impacted by the tornadoes that raked the area. Two Disaster Relief Units departed from our North Carolina headquarters before dawn on Tuesday.
Staff members at the Samaritan’s Purse U.S. Disaster Relief headquarters pray before two Disaster Relief Units depart for Oklahoma Tuesday morning.
A mile-wide twister pounded the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, leveling homes, businesses and schools in Moore. At least 51 people were killed, including 20 children trapped inside their elementary school when the storm hit. Authorities expect the death toll to rise.
The funnel cloud could be seen for miles, creating a debris field several miles wide. Weather officials estimated the strength of the tornado to be an EF-4 or EF-5, with winds of more than 200 mph winds. In Moore, entire neighborhoods are in ruins. Houses are reduced to debris piles, and cars and trucks are strewn along roadsides.
Samaritan’s Purse responded when Moore was hit hard by a tornado in 1999. That storm included the highest winds ever recorded near the earth’s surface, 302 mph, and killed 36 people.
On Sunday, another large tornado hit Shawnee, a town southeast of Oklahoma City, leveling several mobile homes, overturning vehicles, and killing at least one person, according to news reports.
The storms were part of a severe system that generated tornadoes in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Iowa. Dozen of counties in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Missouri were placed under tornado watches and warnings.
Samaritan’s Purse is also responding to tornadoes that hit Hood County in Texas on Wednesday night. Volunteers began helping in Granbury on Monday, the first day we were allowed into the affected area.
Samaritan’s Purse asks for prayers for the people impacted by the storms, and for those in danger from the severe weather – as well as those volunteers working in Texas and preparing to help in Oklahoma. Please pray for Samaritan’s Purse as we work in Texas and prepare to help in Oklahoma.