After the Storm: Accessing Damage in Johnson County After June 25 Tornado

Jun 26, 2023

The Salvation Army Indiana Division’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) team returned to Johnson County on the evening of June 25 to assess community needs in the wake of severe weather that swept through the county in the late afternoon. The county suffered greatly from a tornado outbreak on March 31 of this year and many residents are still in the recovery and rebuilding phase.

Sunday afternoon’s severe weather included strong winds, hail, and a tornado that damaged homes and uprooted trees in northern parts of the county. The Indiana EDS team immediately deployed with hydration and snacks for first responders and residents out clearing debris or putting tarps on their damaged roofs.

“Most of the people we spoke with expressed a degree of relief that the damage wasn’t as widespread or severe as the tornadoes of March 31st caused,” shared Major Mike McKee, EDS Director for The Salvation Army Indiana Division.

Majors Michael and Mary Thomas, who oversee operations at The Salvation Army Red Shield Center in Greenwood, are leading response efforts in Johnson County. As part of the Long-Term Recovery Team for Johnson County, they are still working with families affected by the spring tornado outbreak and will extend similar care to those households affected by the June 25 storms.

Emotional and spiritual care continues to be a vital ministry offered by The Salvation Army as these communities face their second disaster in the span of just two months. Major Mary Thomas reached out to the community through the Red Shield Center’s Facebook page on Sunday evening, assuring residents that The Salvation Army would be there to help them once more:

“The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Team is out assessing the storm damage and how we can help.  We are connected to the Incident command team and other folks to work together to help residents affected by the storms.  Know we will assist as needed and come alongside with Emotional Spiritual Care also. With this storm hitting so close to the last damaged area in Whiteland we know it may have triggered emotions.  If you need support please reach out to us.”

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