REVERE – July 28, 2014 – Within hours of the unthinkable, Salvation Army canteens were on hand to respond to the tornado which touched down in Revere. Staffed by officers and volunteers from all around Eastern Massachusetts, these mobile feeding units were on hand to provide water, snacks and dinner to survivors who had no power and were still shaken by the storm, even hours later. We praise God that no serious injury or death resulted from the EF2 tornado. Yet, for Revere residents, those few unforgettable moments turned their pleasant tree-lined streets into dangerous, unpassable hazards of downed power lines, trees and building materials from homes and businesses blown apart by the storm.
With over 500 relief crews and 200 police and fire personnel on scene, the needs for hydration, nutrition and perhaps most importantly, emotional and spiritual care immediately became critical. Salvation Army teams in Chelsea made sandwiches to be brought to the site.
All along the impact site, roads were impassable due to the combination of debris, relief crews and damage. Volunteers took food and water on foot house to house to meet the needs of local residents and those responding. “I was at work in South Boston,” said Yang Luu as he looked at his wife on the front porch holding their infant daughter. Her older sister danced around the porch eating a sandwich she received from a Salvation Army volunteer. “I called my wife about 30 times and couldn’t reach her. My manager let me leave work to come home. I was so relieved to see my family. The power is out, but we are alright. Thank you”
Joe Quarantello, who lives around the corner from the Luus feels the same way. The family’s home is just feet away from their insurance company, a job Quarantello has done for 50 years. “When I get a call from a client, the first question I ask is if everybody’s ok. If they say yes, forget the rest. We can fix everything else.
I was on my way to Mass General Hospital for an appointment. Lightning struck near TD Garden. I was going to call my wife and tell her about the lightning. I didn’t reach her. I went to my appointment and got a call later from an employee checking on me. My wife was alone at the house, she was scared. Thank God everybody’s ok.”
As officers and volunteers roamed the streets, they offered food, water, hugs, prayer. When impacted residents saw the red shield, they knew hope had returned to the neighborhood.
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