Salvation Army disaster units en route to Florida Panhandle in Sally’s wake

Sep 17, 2020 | by Brad Rowland

Salvation Army disaster units en route to Florida Panhandle in Sally's wake

By: Dan Childs

Salvation Army disaster relief units are inbound to the Florida Panhandle after Hurricane Sally made landfall as a Category 2 storm and dumped over 30 inches of rain along the Alabama and Florida coastline. Within the next 24 hours, 16 Salvation Army units will be providing relief services in an area inundated by extremely heavy rains from the slow-moving storm. 

The Salvation Army's efforts will be focused on the Pensacola area, where 95 percent of the people in Escambia County are without power. Ten canteens from the Florida Division gathered at the staging site at the division's Camp Keystone and are en route to the Panhandle today. They will be joined by two units from the Arkansas-Oklahoma Division and another from the Kentucky-Tennessee Division. Three canteens are already deployed in Panama City, Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola. 

"We know damage is significant, there's a lot of need," said Jeff Jellets, territorial disaster services director. "With an event like this, we expect to be operating for at least a week and possibly as long as two weeks." 

The Army will partner with Florida Southern Baptist Disaster Relief to provide feeding for 12,000-15,000 people a day. The feeding operation is being set up today, and meal service is scheduled to begin Friday with SBDR preparing food and The Salvation Army conducting the distribution. 

An area lying between Gulf Shores, Alabama, and Perdido Key, Florida, received the most severe damage. Flooding is widespread across the region and extends inland from the coast. With the ground saturated with water, falling trees is a major concern, causing power outages and damage to dwellings. 

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