19 December 2023

As we approach Christmas, our prayers are with the people of Middle Tennessee in the United States of America (USA) after severe storms and tornadoes hit Clarksville, Madison and Sumner County on Saturday 9 December.

The extreme weather caused fatalities, injuries and significant damage to buildings and infrastructure.

The National Weather Service in Nashville classed the strongest tornado as an EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, the fourth most intense type of tornado, which can cause three-second gusts of wind at speeds of between 136 and 165 miles per hour. On Sunday 10 December, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency declared a State of Emergency after the extensive damage was assessed.

Supporting the community

Incident Commander for The Salvation Army in Nashville, Captain Philip Canning, said, ‘Now that we are over twenty-four hours into our response, we have a much better view of the need in our community. We are serving hot meals, snacks and drinks at multiple locations in Madison and Hendersonville to make sure those who remain in their homes without power, and those who are returning to their homes to start clean-up efforts, have access to hot meals and support for any emotional and spiritual needs they might have. Sometimes, being able to share your experience with a willing ear over a hot cup of coffee can help lift a weight from your shoulders.’

To date, The Salvation Army has provided: 815 meals*, 595 snacks* and 1,188 drinks*.

The clean-up will begin with Kentucky and Tennessee Division Emergency Disaster Services Director, Bo Sells, meeting with Nashville Incident Commander, Captain Philip Canning, to begin damage assessments in areas north of the city. Major Ken Chase has also been deployed and will be responding to the Clarksville area.

Salvation Army officers on the ground

Southern USA Territory Emergency Disaster Services Coordinator, Jeff Jellets, explained, ‘The damage and trauma left behind from the extreme storms has been extensive; work now begins on assisting the people of Middle Tennessee to begin the recovery efforts. Our Salvation Army officers are on the ground providing water and food to those affected by the storms.’

‘I am proud that many of our officers are helping directly with the recovery efforts,’ Mr Jellets continued. ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Middle Tennessee and all the emergency services workers working hard on the recovery. Additional resources will likely be provided once we have clearer picture of the situation.’

For more information, please visit The Salvation Army USA website: The Salvation Army Responds to December 9th Tornadoes in Middle Tennessee (salvationarmyusa.org)

IHQ Communications

*Figures correct 13 December 2023

Tags: Emergencies, Americas and Caribbean, News