Samaritan's Purse trucks headed to Arkansas, Kansas

by: Dave Faherty Updated:

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BOONE, N.C. - Massive tractor-trailers full of supplies are headed to areas hit hardest by this week’s severe storms.

Samaritan’s Purse already has workers on the ground in Arkansas.

Eyewitness News reporter Dave Faherty talked to volunteers eager to help storm survivors.

One truck that left Samaritan’s Purse Tuesday morning is heading to Baxter Springs, Kansas. Another is leaving for Mayflower, Arkansas.

Driver Dale Peterson spoke with Channel 9 before he left.

"The devastation is pretty mind boggling but we are able to offer some hope and help to people and that is very rewarding," Peterson said.

The 53-foot truck is loaded with chain saws, tarps, wheelbarrows and anything else necessary for recovery efforts. A worker with the relief organization sent Faherty a cellphone video of what she was seeing on the ground after an Arkansas tornado came through.

“"We're seeing houses and businesses completely flattened and leveled to the ground. Debris is scattered everywhere. Trees are every which way," said Katrina Petersen with Samaritan’s Purse.

At the command post in North Wilkesboro, employees monitored the severe weather as it raced across Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia.

“There's really too many counties and too much information for us to grab and understand right now what the area of greatest need is and what we can have the most impact," said Tim Haas with Samaritan’s Purse.

The organization is being careful with supplies and crews are more storms are in the forecast where the trucks are headed. Some of the workers and volunteers already on scene could be in the tornado damaged areas for weeks.

"I do this because I enjoy reaching out to help people in need. I don't like seeing anybody hurting who has been a victim of a storm who doesn't have somebody to reach out to," said Jonathan Blevins with Samaritan’s Purse.