A violent storm ravished the west side of the city of Peru late Wednesday afternoon causing power outages and damage to buildings and cars.
Within minutes of the end of the storm, the Kokomo and Indianapolis Canteens were deployed to start the process of serving first responders and those affected by the storm.
Below is Rush Yelverton’s account of the Peru storm response:
As you know, we stopped at the Kokomo WalMart and picked up 2 shopping carts full of bread, sandwich meat, peanut butter and jelly, pickles and several small battery powered fans (with batteries.) We arrived on station in Peru about 8 p.m. and immediately set up for service in a parking lot adjacent to the closed Pizza Hut. We were immediately adjacent to the trailer park that was so badly affected by the storm. There was some structural damage we could see, but the primary problem was the lack of power throughout the park of what I’d estimate to be 50 to 75 mobile homes. The Kokomo Canteen was already set up in the same location.
It was dark as we began a canteen drive through the trailer park area. There were but a few residents remaining in the area, but those there were most pleased to see us and have a sandwich, beverage and cookies. We knocked on doors and met people in the street.
A primary event was the setup of one of the generators at the home of an elderly couple. Both have lung cancer, and both are on 24/7 oxygen support. A local responder working with the Kokomo team set up the generator and connected the oxygen generators.
We returned to the parking lot and resumed service there. We fed a few residents, the utility workers restoring broken power line and poles, policemen securing the area, Red Cross service personnel, and Emergency Management personnel from Miami county.
I estimate that we served 40 people from our canteen. Kokomo most likely served about 150 during the day, operating out of their canteen and a pickup truck.
We departed Peru about midnight and arrived at the Training Facility about 2:00 am. We unloaded and secured everything and left for home about 2:20.
Although the devastation was not as severe as it could have been, we met some very special needs and provided much appreciated service to those affected by the storm.
To me, it appeared the the most significant damage was to nearby businesses like the Pizza Hut and the adjacent Kroger grocery and pharmacy, neither of which were open for business.
Rush acts as a logistics officer and volunteer for EDS. He is also an Advisory Board member for the Indiana Division.