TORNADOES RAVAGE EASTERN UNITED STATES

By , November 15, 2002

Sunday, November 10th, 2002 was a beautiful and balmy day. After a week of cooler than normal weather, a bright and sunny Sunday was a welcomed relief. However, by nightfall it was apparent that the warm weather was creating havoc from Mississippi to Ohio. The line of severe thunderstorms was racing across the eastern United States at speeds of sixty miles per hour. Not only were heavy rain, hail, severe cloud to ground lightening and deafening thunder being reported but also tornadoes began to develop.

Multiple tornadoes were spawned throughout the night and into Monday morning. By day break the full impact of the devastation and destruction was beginning to be told. From Carbon Hill, AL, an hour northeast of Birmingham, to Mossy Grove, TN, a small valley community nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, to Ohio, Maryland and Pennsylvania, tornadoes had caused major property damage and loss of life. In Tennessee seventeen people perished and thirteen different tornadoes touched down.

Well-built homes were leveled leaving the foundations as reminders of dreams and hopes for the future. Mobile homes were tossed about and crushed like tin cans under the feet of men. Trucks and cars were used as missiles flying through the night air. Nothing seemed to be spared. One church congregation enjoying a beautiful time of worship, were suddenly told to crouch under their pews, waiting for the tornado to relinquish its hold on their community. When they emerged, there was moderate damage to the church but eight members of their community had lost their lives to the storm including a five-month-old baby.

Early Monday morning, David Lorency, International Field Director for Operation Compassion, mobilized its Disaster Relief team. Within hours Operation Compassion had personnel on the ground assessing needs and directing resources and needed supplies. By Thursday, Operation Compassion had delivered three trucks full of cleaning supplies, blankets, water, clothes detergent, ice chests, clothing and beverages.

While the disaster teams in these locations have changed their emphasis from recovery to clean up to restoration and many organizations will begin to leave these ravaged areas, Operation Compassion has committed continued help and assistance for the long haul. Plans and strategies for resource placement and replacement are being developed, as complete restoration will take months to years.

This type of massive response will take the involvement of everyone. The cost will be astronomical but not insurmountable. While you might not be able to physically go to the disaster site, you can still be a part of the disaster team. Sponsoring a semi truck loaded with disaster relief supplies will assure your continued involvement while helping to defray the expense of this massive disaster relief effort. Interested persons, churches or agencies can sponsor a semi truck for pennies on the dollar of valued product. For further information, please contact Operation Compassion at the address and telephone numbers list below or visit our web site

Operation Compassion
Dr. John D. Nichols, President
David Lorency, International Director
Tim Burdashaw, International Operations Coordinator

114 Stuart Road, NE Suite 370
Cleveland, TN 37312
423.728.3932 Office
423.728.3958 Fax
www.operationcompassion.org

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