NEW BEDFORD - The New Bedford branch of the Salvation Army has been activated to provide assistance in Florida where now tropical storm Irma brought punishing wind and rain to much of the state. Major Gil Parkhurst says resources in the south have been strained ever since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas two weeks ago.

"Florida had sent a lot of their crews over to Texas to help out. So their crews are now tired," said Parkhurst. "So we've been asked to come in and provide assistance to them."

Major Parkhurst has been tapped to oversee Salvation Army operations in a yet to be determined area of Florida. Damage assessments are ongoing and officials will soon determine where the greatest needs are.

For those looking to lend a helping hand, Parkhurst says residents who want to donate to the relief effort should consider making a financial contribution instead of organizing a supply drive.

"It's hard to set those up because there are no warehouses available and storing that is a challenge. When an individual makes a monetary donation, it allows us to purchase items in the area that has been devastated so it helps to rebuild that community."

Two other volunteers with the New Bedford Salvation Army are embarking for Florida Monday in a canteen truck to provide food and drinks to survivors and those involved with the relief efforts.

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