Appomattox Assistance

Helping Families Impacted By Tornadoes

If you have been following our relief efforts recently, you know that we have been providing ongoing relief to families in Appomattox, Evergreen and Pamplin, Virginia.  These areas were hit by a devastating EF-3 tornado which damaged or destroyed nearly 100 homes.

While this storm effected many families locally, it was actually part of a larger storm system which affected hundreds of families from Louisiana to Pennsylvania.

One particularly hard-hit area was Convent, Louisiana.

An Entire Neighborhood…Gone (250 Families Impacted)

“Don’t Wait On FEMA, It Ain’t Gonna Happen”

That was the headline in The Advocate’s (a Louisiana newspaper) story the day after the storm hit.  Despite taking out entire neighborhoods, the storm had not caused enough widespread damage to get FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to provide essential relief.

When our disaster coordinator arrived on the scene there was very little relief available.  We immediately began working with local churches to distribute supplies to this under-served community.
By the end of the trip, we had provided over 30,000 pounds of relief supplies to families in Convent.

nikita

This is Nikita. She was in her home when it was suddenly struck by an EF-3 tornado. As the tornado tore the house apart around her, she held on for her life. One hand gripped a door frame and the other held her infant son as the wind tried to tear him from her arms. Her husband was in a different part of the house when the tornado hit and was instantly buried in debris.

nikita-back

The above photo is all that remains of Nikita’s house. The trauma of the storm was so fresh that, when we met her, she was unable to bring herself to go inside her home. She was tearfully grateful for the supplies that we left with her and her family as they started to sort through what was left of their home.