Dallas, TX (April 22, 2013)—After seeing their home in the devastated community of West for the first time since the explosion, a couple said, “We cried when we first drove up. But walking through the broken glass we realized that everything in the house is repairable and replaceable. We are so lucky to have our lives, we can fix the rest. It’s going to be alright.”
Local authorities have completed the initial damage assessment of the area concluding that 73 homes have been completed destroyed, 59 homes sustained major damage, a further 78 residences have minor damage, and an additional 61 homes have been affected in other ways. Two phases of residents were allowed to return to their homes today before the 7:00 PM curfew was invoked with two more phases expected to return tomorrow.
A Joint Assistance Center (JAC) has been established at 2547 Jerry Mashek Drive in West, as one central location where residents can have access to assistance from a range of relief agencies. Social Services Staff from The Salvation Army in Waco will be responsible to process applications from residents and provide support, Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM-7:00 PM, in the form of Walmart gift cards, counseling and case management. One Disaster Canteen (mobile kitchen) will remain at the JAC, another will work in the affected neighborhoods, with the remaining two units covering the Community Center and the Command Post. It is anticipated that the canteen services will continue for at least the coming week.
Since the response began within hours of the fertilizer plant explosion on Wednesday evening The Salvation Army has provided 2,945 meals, 2,526 drinks, and 1,385 snacks. So far, Salvation Army Officers, staff and volunteers have served for a combined number of 1,985 hours. As people return to their homes it is anticipated that spiritual care will become a key aspect of The Salvation Army response. To date, 137 residents and first responders have received prayer and spiritual care.
Major Dan Ford, Incident Commander, has been coordinating warehouse operations at 101 Apron Rd in Waco. Some donations have been received locally but this location will be focused on assisting the local jurisdiction and McClennan County with overflow from West and other donation collection sites around the region. The warehouse will be open each day from 8:00 AM-7:00 PM. If you would like to volunteer at the warehouse, or for more information, please call (254) 379-2430. The Salvation Army is not accepting in-kind donations at this location.
The most effective way to support The Salvation Army’s ongoing response in West is by making a financial contribution:
• MAIL – please send checks to The Salvation Army, PO Box 36607, Dallas, TX 75235
• PHONE at 1-800-SAL-ARMY
• ONLINE at https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/texas/westexplosion
Please continue to pray for the residents of West and for the many first responders and relief agencies who are working so hard to provide life’s basic necessities and assistance as the long road to recovery begins.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.