Tornadoes and wildfires leave destruction in South and West

May. 08, 2022

Wednesday, May 4, 2022, was a date marked by natural disasters in many parts of the country. Tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma and Texas that day, leaving behind significant property damage and flooding for parts of those two states as well as Arkansas. Also on that date, President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration for New Mexico, which has, along with other states, been battling huge wildfires that have been difficult to contain.

As for the tornadoes, the Associated Press reported that a spring storm system spawned several of the storms in Texas and Oklahoma. Significant damage was reported in Seminole, Okla., about 60 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. Several roads and highways were closed the following morning in parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas because of flash flooding.

As for the wildfires, northeastern New Mexico has been significantly impacted, covering about 250 sq. miles. According to National Public Radio (NPR), an estimated “15,500 homes in outlying areas and in the valleys of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains that border Las Vegas [N.M.] have been affected by mandatory evacuations,” with the number of homes destroyed estimated at “around 170.

So far, “some 300,000 acres have burned this year in New Mexico — more than the past two full years combined,” said CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller. In addition, CNN reports that the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire — “the biggest U.S. fire this year and the second-largest in New Mexico in at least 30 years — had torched more than 165,000 acres as of Thursday [May 5].”

New Mexico is just the latest state to be dealing with wildfires. According to NPR, the National Interagency Fire Center reports “that a dozen uncontained large fires have burned about 426 sq. miles in five states.”

If your rental operation or your employees have been severely impacted by these storms or wildfires, know that the ARA Foundation’s Disaster Relief Grants are here to assist.

Two types of grants are available:

For more information on these services or to donate to the ARA Foundation, click here.

For questions, contact Tracy Johannsen, director of ARA Foundation programs, at or 309-764-2475, ext. 270.

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