CWS U.S. Spring Storms appeal updated, amount increased

May 13, 2015

Moore, Okla., after an EF-5 tornado struck in May 2013. In the heart of “Tornado Alley,” Moore has been hit repeatedly – most recently suffering tornado damage and injuries this month (May 2015). Photo: Minerva Studio /

Moore, Okla., after an EF-5 tornado struck in May 2013. In the heart of “Tornado Alley,” Moore has been hit repeatedly – most recently suffering tornado damage and injuries this month (May 2015). Photo: Minerva Studio /

Editor’s note: At Church World Service, we offer our concern for all who lost their lives or were injured in Tuesday’s train derailment in Philadelphia.  Our thoughts are with all who were aboard the train or otherwise in harm’s way.



A series of severe storms that began in late March continued unabated in May, causing six more deaths, dozens more injuries and significant additional property damage in eight states April 30-May 12.

In anticipation of requests for CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets and other Kits and for long-term recovery training in affected communities, CWS is seeking $20,000 in contributions for its storm response.

Funds raised toward CWS Emergency Appeal #628-C (2015 U.S. Spring Storms) will support on-site training and shipment of CWS Kits – all donated by CWS member communions and their congregations – as requested by affected communities.


The following adds to information in the CWS 2015 U.S. Spring Storms Appeal issued April 30.

Multiple large storm systems tore through eight states April 30-May 12, killing six, injuring about 120 and leaving a wide swath of damage in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas.

Arkansas: The town of Nashville in Howard County was hit by a tornado, which killed two persons and injured others in a mobile home park.

Colorado:  Heavy hail was reported in several areas, accumulating up to eight inches deep near Colorado Springs. Flooding was reported in areas along the South Platte and Arkansas Rivers.

Iowa: Numerous houses received roof damage from high winds and tornadoes in the towns of Carroll and Lake City. Lake City High School also suffered extensive roof damage. Homes were also damaged in Rockwell City and in Pocahontas County.

Kansas: Tornados affected towns across the state. Four homes were damaged in Lincoln County and one in Sedgwick County, and three homes were destroyed in Jewell County.  Tornado damage also was reported in Sheridan and Logan counties.

Nebraska: In DeWitt (Saline County) and Fairbury (Jefferson County), more than 300 persons were evacuated due to flash flooding. In Adams County a tornado destroyed two homes and damaged two more near the town of Roseland. Damage was also reported in Jewell County.

Oklahoma: A storm-related drowning and more than 30 injuries have been reported. Numerous towns and counties have been impacted by high winds, flooding and tornadoes, including Amber (10 homes destroyed), Bridge Creek (25 homes destroyed), Norman (tornado damage), Moore (tornado damage and injuries), Henryetta (flooding), and Oklahoma City (flooding and tornado damage). The governor has declared a Disaster Emergency for the counties of Alfalfa, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Dewey, Garfield, Grady, Grant, Major, McClain and Oklahoma.

South Dakota: The town of Delmont was hard hit with serious damage to 20 buildings including a church and the town fire station. Nine persons were injured.

Texas:  Tornadoes, high winds and flooding killed three people and damaged homes across the state. Tornadoes damaged homes in Grimes County and near Dallas-Fort Worth. Several mobile homes were damaged in New Fairview. In Woodson, several homes were damaged by straight line winds. The town of Van in Van Zandt County was very hard hit with 26 people injured and 30 per cent of the town damaged. Injuries also were reported in Denton County. Several persons were injured when a train was derailed by high winds in Cooke County.

CWS also closely monitored the landfall of Tropical Storm Ana May 10 and the resulting heavy rainfall in the Carolinas and Virginia. No significant flooding or damage has been reported.


CWS emergency response specialists are gathering information as it becomes available and making contact with members and partners in affected states, including FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons, State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters and faith-based organizations. In support of survivors’ early needs, the agency is offering local partners and churches CWS material resources assembled and contributed by its member communions and their congregations nationwide.

CWS emergency response specialists also are determining long-term recovery training needs in the affected communities and will work with experts in CWS member communions to provide requested training. Funds received for CWS Appeal #628-C (2015 U.S. Spring Storms) will be used to support CWS training activities and the shipment of any requested material goods.

CWS member communions are already active at the national and local level in all affected states meeting survivors’ needs, including clearing debris, mucking out homes, and providing food in shelters, grants and supplies of all kinds.


Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may made online be sent to your denomination (communion) or to Church World Service, Attn. 2015 U.S. Spring Storms Appeal #628-C, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.

CWS thanks its participating communions for their efforts to help restock its warehouses with CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets, Hygiene Kits, Baby Care Kits and School Kits.  Many people in need will benefit from these resources. All efforts to replenish our supplies for future emergencies are, as always, greatly appreciated. CWS Baby Care Kits and School Kits are in shortest supply right now.  Visit for more information about CWS Kits.

Disasters such as this are a time to remember that the most important humanitarian donation that an individual can make is cash. Used clothing and other materials do little to restore the dignity of survivors.

CWS is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.