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Salvation Army On Standby For Flood Victims

Daylina Miller/WUSF
The Salvation Army deployed an eight-unit shower truck and about two dozen volunteers to the First Presbyterian Church of Port Richey, where the Red Cross set up an evacuation shelter. Pictured:George Blowers IV plays with a Red Cross volunteer.

In the wake of heavy rains in the Tampa Bay area, the Salvation Army has called in reinforcements to assist in providing aid to first responders and victims.

The Salvation Army has stationed volunteers throughout Pinellas and Pasco counties with canteens, or moving kitchens, to supply those in flooded areas with a hot meal.

In addition to the canteens, they have also deployed their eight-unit shower truck and about two dozen volunteers to the Red Cross, which previously set up an evacuation shelter at the First Presbyterian Church in Port Richey. 

Jeanne Coulter, the Social Service Director for the Salvation Army in Pasco, said these mobile operations are important. 

"We do this because (this disaster) could have easily been you or me," Coulter said. "We help because we have a devotion to our community, we have a love of others and it's in the Salvation Army's DNA."

In addition to the canteens and mobile shower units, volunteers are also providing victims of the floods a hot meal at the Salvation Army's Center of Hope facility.

The volunteers will be out on the streets providing relief until Friday. That's when representatives from the Salvation Army and other community agencies will meet with Pasco County officials to begin discussing long-term recovery solutions for areas impacted by the floods.

In the meantime, those affected by the floods remain Coulter's top priority. 

"This is my hometown, and we care about our neighbors," Coulter said. 

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