Response Updates

Convoy Is Responding in Arkansas After Tornado Outbreak

USA Reported by Convoy of Hope

April 10, 2023 | 12:47 p.m.

Since multiple brutal tornadoes tore through the midwest on March 31, Convoy of Hope has served nearly 18,000 individuals in the affected communities.

More than 300,000 pounds of product have been distributed in the form of food, water, hygiene kits, cleanup supplies, and sheltering supplies. Hundreds of volunteers have been mobilized to serve devastated communities in the region.

“Having this resource for so many is such a great blessing,” said Donna, a resident of an affected community in Indiana.

April 6, 2023 | 3:06 p.m.

Convoy of Hope continues to serve those affected by last weekend’s tornado outbreak. Teams are working in Arkansas, and Convoy is still serving communities across the U.S. through resource distributions.

  • • In Arkansas, Convoy’s teams are serving in the city of Wynne through distributions and debris removal.
  • • In Indiana, drive-thru distributions continued in Whiteland this week. Mobile distributions also took place in Sullivan. Residents received relief supplies, such as food, water, tarps, and cleaning essentials.
  • • Today, loads of Convoy relief supplies arrived in Covington, Tennessee, for distribution.

Convoy of Hope is committed to helping survivors of unpredictable storms like the ones that have recently destroyed communities across the United States. For more information on how to be prepared for different kinds of severe weather, visit Convoy’s Disaster Preparedness page for a free guide.

April 5, 2023 | 4:15 p.m.

Kevin Jumper lives in Wynne, Arkansas. Last Friday afternoon, as storm sirens sounded and weather forecasts predicted the worst, he invited his neighbors to take shelter in his basement.

“Sixteen or seventeen people were in our basement. Trying to get people to come in, get the basement ready, and get organized … the Lord showed me it was the same as when Noah tried to compel people to come into the ark,” he said.

Soon after, Wynne — a town of roughly 8,000 people — was destroyed by a tornado. Kevin’s neighborhood wasn’t spared. He talked about the aftermath being “surreal, like a movie.”

“Many houses were destroyed,” Kevin lamented. “Those outside were injured but okay. We had to dig out a lady trapped in the house. Fortunately, there were no deaths in the area.”

Multiple Crises, Multiple Responses

This isn’t the first tornado to impact Kevin and his family. His extended family lives in Amory, Mississippi, which was destroyed by tornadoes the week before.

But for both tornadoes, Kevin was part of Convoy of Hope’s response to bring relief to survivors. He has been a strong partner of Convoy’s Rural Initiatives program for years. When the tornadoes struck Amory, he worked with Convoy to help with distributions in the community.

And after the tornado blew through Wynne, Kevin was able to immediately distribute two truckloads of supplies that he had recently received from Rural Initiatives.

“Kevin is a vital part of this community,” said Convoy’s Senior Director of Disaster Services Eric Gordon. “He’s the kind of partner we’re honored to have.”

The Helpers Receive Help

Kevin’s house sustained heavy damage, but was one of the only structures still standing after the storm. Even though he and his community have lost so much, Kevin talked about the pillars of his life — faith, family, and friends.

“Everybody showed up and helped up at our property,” he said. “The Lord blessed us that we could salvage a high percentage of things in this — it’s kind of a miracle.”

When asked what it was like to go from serving others to being served, he began to cry. “I’m not used to that … it’s hard to receive when you’re used to giving. Seeing [volunteers] yesterday at my house … so proud, just knowing they showed up when I needed encouraging words and prayer.”

April 4, 2023 | 12:52 p.m.

Convoy of Hope has distributed hundreds of thousands of pounds of product to more than 16,500 people in communities that were devastated by tornadoes last weekend. Here are updates from a few of the communities where teams are serving.

Arkansas tornado
Arkansas tornado
  • Little Rock, Arkansas – Another load of supplies was delivered in North Little Rock yesterday. Drive-thru and mobile distributions took place in both Jacksonville and North Little Rock. The team remains in contact with local church partners to address ongoing needs in the area.
  • Wynne, Arkansas – Yesterday, mobile distribution occurred as team members delivered tarps, food, water, and cleaning supplies directly to families who could not leave their damaged homes. Convoy’s team will begin chainsaw and debris removal today.
  • Indiana – Drive-thru and mobile distribution took place in Whiteland, Indiana, yesterday. A load of essential supplies was also delivered to Sullivan, Indiana. Volunteers immediately began bagging groceries in preparation for today’s distribution.

As bad weather continues to threaten the middle of the U.S. this week, Convoy of Hope is committed to helping these communities recover from their loss as well as survivors of any future storms that may appear this spring.

Arkansas tornado relief

April 3, 2023 | 11:54 a.m.

More than 30 people have died in the fierce storms that struck the U.S. this weekend. Dozens of tornadoes destroyed homes and businesses across 11 states, leaving thousands wondering what the following days and weeks will bring. President Biden declared broad areas of the country as major disaster areas. Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard.

Convoy of Hope served nearly 13,000 people in both drive-thru and mobile distributions on Saturday and Sunday in North Little Rock and Jacksonville, Arkansas. Another load is en route to North Little Rock this morning.

“Even while the first tornado was still going through our town, I got the first call from Convoy of Hope,” said Rod Loy, pastor of First NLR in North Little Rock. “I want to say thank you to Convoy of Hope for truly partnering and for being the first here with help.”

Convoy also served the communities of Wayne, Arkansas; Whiteland, Indiana; and Sullivan, Indiana, all of which were devastated by tornadoes this weekend. Loads of supplies have either been delivered or are en route to all three cities. Future distributions are planned for this week.

April 1, 2023 | 9:50 a.m.

A night of vicious tornado outbreaks has left 11 dead, dozens injured, and thousands grappling with destroyed communities and property. 

Convoy of Hope is responding to multiple locations in Arkansas. Team members are already on the ground in the greater Little Rock area, and another team will be deployed to Wynne, Arkansas, this morning. More trucks loaded with food, water, and relief supplies are heading to multiple locations throughout the state. Distribution will begin immediately upon arrival.

As communities across the Midwest work this morning to rebuild their lives, Convoy of Hope is there to help. To help Convoy and those we are serving, click here.

Your support makes this possible. When we’re there, you’re there.

March 31, 2023 | 8 p.m.

Earlier today, a tornado swept through central Arkansas, overturning cars, ripping roofs off of houses, and injuring dozens of people in the state’s capitol — Little Rock. Arkansas’ governor has declared a state of emergency.

In Sherwood, Arkansas Police, and firefighters get help from volunteers clearing downed trees on Keihl Avenue after storms ripped through the area, Friday, March 31, 2023, in Sherwood, Ark. A monster storm system tore through the South and Midwest on Friday, spawning tornadoes that shredded homes and shopping centers, overturned vehicles and uprooted trees as people raced for shelter. (Thomas Metthe/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

As of tonight, 81,000 people are without power in Arkansas. Convoy of Hope is already on the ground, ready to provide relief for the people left devastated in the aftermath. As severe weather threats continue into the evening and overnight across the Midwest, Convoy of Hope is ready to respond where there is need. 

To help Convoy provide help and hope to people affected by the storms, click here.

Social

Today, we’re celebrating #Juneteenth! The holiday celebrates African American history and culture, and the end of slavery on June 19, 1865. Juneteenth not only calls us to reflect on history, but also the continued work ahead.
For more on Juneteenth, visit https://h.ope.is/4crJtNM