Kansas, Illinois, Indiana (Tornado) / 15,500 Meals over 9 Days

Disaster: As many as 17 tornadoes across multiple states Classification: EF-2 Harveyville, KS; EF-4 Harrisburg, IL; EF-4 Marysville, IN Casualties: Harveyville, KS: Eight or nine people injured, 40%-60% of the town destroyed Harrisburg, IL: Six people dead and 100 injured, 250-300 buildings damaged or destroyed Marysville, IN Area:  14 dead, hundreds injured. Nearly every home in Marysville was either destroyed or damaged. Nearby Henryville, IN, suffered significant damage as well. On the evening of February 29th, numerous tornadoes ripped across the Midwest causing widespread damage. Suspected tornadoes killed 14, as the powerful storms ripped through the Midwest, obliterating homes, churches and businesses across six states.

Within thirty six hours of tornados touching down, OBR volunteers from the Kansas City area were in downstate Harrisburg, IL. Joining up with a team from the 17th Street Bar & Grill, a local BBQ restaurant in nearby Murphysboro, IL, they once again began cooking hot meals for displaced residents and first responders.

The National Weather Service reported that on Friday night, March 2nd, two tornadoes, one an EF-4 packing 175 mph winds, hit Henryville, IN an area north of Louisville, KY. The first was on the ground for 52 miles and measured about 150 yards wide. A second, smaller tornado passed through the town a short while later. Taylor Farms Smokehouse in Tennessee, which had previously worked with OBR in Joplin, responded on Saturday to Marysville, IN which was almost obliterated by tornados the previous night.

Monitoring the situation in Harveyville, KS, OBR teams responded on Saturday, after officials allowed non-residents into the town.

This was the first time that OBR had provided disaster relief in three states simultaneously.

Apprised of the extent of the damages to the surrounding communities, the team from Harrisburg finished up and continued on to Marysville to provide additional assistance.

In a surprise twist on Tuesday, a group of volunteers from Joplin, MO unexpectedly showed up to assist in Marysville, IN. As one of the members said, “We are here to help payback what was paid to us.”

When Operation BBQ Relief finally ended operations after 9 long days and nights, OBR volunteers had traveled 1500 miles and cooked over 1800 meals in Harveyville, KS; 5200 meals in Harrisburg, IL; and 7500 meals in Marysville, IN.