Extreme Weather

Spate of Tornadoes Churns Through Southern U.S.

Direct Relief offers support to clinics and health centers impacted by weekend's storms.

Homes and infrastructure were damaged in Hamilton, Mississippi, on April 14, 2019, after tornadoes devastated the area. A powerful storm system swept through the Southern United States over the weekend, causing dozens of tornadoes. (Photo courtesy of the National Weather Service)
Homes and infrastructure were damaged in Hamilton, Mississippi, on April 14, 2019, after tornadoes devastated the area. A powerful storm system swept through the Southern United States over the weekend, causing dozens of tornadoes. (Photo courtesy of the National Weather Service)

More than two dozen tornadoes churned through multiple states over the weekend, with damage occurring in Texas, Alabama, Ohio and Mississippi.

The series of storms led to the deaths of at least nine people, and the storm system also brought deadly flash flooding to northern Louisiana.

Over the weekend, Direct Relief staff reached out to staff at about 200 health facilities in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas to offer emergency assistance, opening the organization’s medical inventory that can support both acute and chronic health needs.

East Texas Community Health Services, located in Nacogdoches County, near the border of Texas and Louisiana, responded to Direct Relief and is working to meet medical needs in the community.

Storms passed through the area, health center staff reported, leaving a school and museum and civic center destroyed. Health center officials were working Monday to assess medical needs in the area.

Direct Relief is also coordinating with Hope Community Medicine in Center, Texas. A tornado touched down about an hour outside of the clinic, destroying homes in the community of Alto. In addition to individual clinics and health centers, Direct Relief is in contact with state associations, including the Texas Association of Community Health Centers, and will continue to offer support as requested.

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