FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami.com) – South Florida’s chapter of the Salvation Army is set to send the nation’s largest mobile canteen to Alabama Friday morning to aid the state after countless tornadoes devastated the area.
The canteen is capable of providing over 2,500 meals a day and can carry up to 7,000 pounds including food, paper products, and other disaster supplies.
The aid is desperately needed as Alabamians continue to try to comprehend just how horrendous the devastation is following Wednesday evening’s tornadoes.
Salvation Army Major Leona O’Bryant said that in a crisis the unit – known as the canteen – is a godsend.
“I think they see the Salvation Army and they know they have someone who can provide help for their family, their grandmothers,” O’Bryant said. “They will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 18 hours a day.”
The South Florida chapter of the American Red Cross already sent three volunteers to the area Thursday, including Danny Torres, who will supervise a shelter in Birmingham.
Torres spoke to CBS4 as he prepared to board a flight from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
“I know I’m going into a situation where a lot of people are going to be very depressed,” Torres told CBS 4′s Carey Codd. “They’re gonna be out of their homes. It’s a lot to swallow.”
Florida Power and Light depended on borrowed power crews to restore the massive damage done by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and now it stands ready to help restore power to tornado victims.
FPL spokesperson Sarah Marmion said FPL has dispatched 79 restoration contractors, 90 distribution restoration specialists and 13 transmission restoration specialists to Alabama to help restore power in the affected areas.
Some areas of north Alabama are being told they may be without power for upwards of 5 days as crews struggle to rebuild the electrical grid that was severely damaged as EF4-EF5 tornadoes tore through the state.
President Obama made his way to the state Friday morning on his way to see the shuttle launch. Obama landed in Tuscaloosa which had entire neighborhoods completely annihilated by an EF-4 to EF-5 tornado that was seen on live television.