CONNELLSVILLE, Pa., Sept. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Since Monday (August 30th) of this week, The Salvation Army has been on the scene of the flooding that occurred in the Connellsville area on Sunday night. Each day, two Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Response Units (also referred to as 'Canteens' – or mobile kitchens) have been on site preparing and delivering meals and hydration to first responders, flood victims and volunteer groups that have been assisting with the clean-up efforts. Over 130 homes have been affected by flood and storm damage, with estimates that nearly half of those have sustained what is to be considered major damage or have been destroyed. According to Connellsville Mayor Greg Lincoln, so far at least 14 homes have been marked for demolition.
The community response has been tremendous, and many local businesses have donated food for The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) response teams to deliver, with efforts being coordinated by Connellsville Community Ministries. Dunkin Donuts in Irwin, Bud Murphy's in Connellsville, and Seven Springs Resort are just a few of the restaurants that have provided food for distribution. Salvation Army EDS volunteers have also been preparing hamburgers, hot dogs and coffee to serve from the canteens. In one day alone, The Salvation Army delivered 200 lunches, 300 dinners and provided over 500 bottles of Gatorade and 450 bottles of water. On Tuesday, once road repairs began on Breakneck, meals and beverages were loaded onto a Polaris 4-Wheeler so that Salvation Army EDS volunteers were still able to reach the workers and victims. The affected areas in both Bullskin Township and Connellsville City (Dutch Bottom) were, and are still being served breakfast, lunch, and dinner by The Salvation Army. Plans at this point are to continue this service throughout the weekend and into Monday, but The Salvation Army teams are committed to continuing as long as needed in this capacity.
The Salvation Army will also be on site at the Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) set up for victims to talk to various assistance providers and community agencies. This center will be open at the Connellsville Middle School this Friday, September 2nd and Saturday September 3rd from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information about the MARC, residents should call Connellsville Community Ministries at 724-626-1120. Gift cards in the amount of $50 will be issued by The Salvation Army to each individual affected to provide for immediate needs. As of Wednesday, August 31st, according to the Red Cross, the number of individuals affected totals 278, as indicated by the 97 assistance cases that have been opened. As additional needs assessments are completed and evaluated, determinations of future support The Salvation Army may provide will be made and communicated.
Major Deborah Sedlar, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army Western PA Division encourages the continued support of the community, "Those affected by this tragic event will obviously need a great deal of support to get their lives back to normal. The outpouring of love, encouragement, volunteerism and donations that has already been witnessed is an incredible testament to the generosity of the human spirit that exists in the people of Western Pennsylvania. Those wishing to contribute financially can trust that any donations sent to The Salvation Army intended for assistance to flood victims will be used in the manner intended," said Sedlar, adding: "In addition to the volunteer, in kind and financial support, everyone in the community needs our continued prayers. I will personally continue to pray for the healing of this entire community."
Contributions can be sent to your local Salvation Army or to: The Salvation Army Western PA Divisional Headquarters, PO Box 742, 700 North Bell Avenue, Carnegie, PA 15106. Please indicate: "Connellsville Flood Relief" in the remittance advice or memo section of the check.
Celebrating over 150 years of global service as both a church and a social service organization, The Salvation Army began in London, England in 1865. Today, it provides critical services in 127 countries worldwide. The 28-county Western Pennsylvania Division serves thousands of needy families through a wide variety of support services. To learn more about The Salvation Army in Western Pennsylvania, log on to www.wpa.salvationarmy.org The Salvation Army … doing the most good for the most people in the most need.
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SOURCE Salvation Army Western PA Division