One year ago today The Salvation Army answered a call early in the morning. “We never really know what the job will look like, but when there is a need we respond!” Lt. Vinal Lee of The Salvation Army of Jefferson County shared with us that early that morning when he received the call he could not imagine the scene and devastation that awaited him. This event will forever be known as the Walnut St Flood. This flood displaced numerous families and left homes and life devastated by the water.”Water was everywhere” Lee said, First responders were on the scene of US 421 pulling people out of houses as the waters rose quickly. Homes were totally underwater by the time The Salvation Army mobile unit arrived. “Though power was out, we knew the most important need for flood victims, was shelter and dry clothing” Lee stated. The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Service team began to set up cots in their designated shelter space within the building, while others worked down in the family store to provide families with fresh-dry-clothing. As more people were transported to the Salvation Army shelter for safety, the next need was recovery. Through coordination with The Salvation Army EDS team, they started the process of cleaning out homes and rebuilding lives. The Salvation Army extended their usual services to offer dinner as well as the typical breakfast and lunch to the victims and volunteers of the walnut street flood. The Salvation Army EDS responds to all types of disaster throughout the year. The Salvation Army had an excellent response that night because as Lee states, “we have excellent volunteers with excellent training”.
He went on to say, “we always need more volunteers to continue serving as we did. We operated an Emergency shelter for 8 days and that takes major personnel power. I strongly encourage everyone to consider joining our EDS team”. Additionally he shared” I am humbled by the amazing support we have seen from the community, financial, clothing, property; we truly have a community who wants to give back and we are grateful to be that vehicle to do so.” We have seen the power and response the Salvation Army is capable of during disasters, and are moved by such a powerful response. The walnut street flood was a shinning example of the willingness and capability the Salvation Army has; they love their community deeply and seek to serve it with every resource they posses. As you remember the walnut street flood this time of year, consider donating your time or even consider a finical donation to The Salvation Army of Jefferson County.