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article imageRelief aid for Moore tornado victims denied at Canadian border

By Ashley Woods     Jun 1, 2013 in World
A 44,000-pound shipment of food, blankets and diapers bound for tornado-stricken Moore, Okla., has been stopped at the Canada-U.S. border. Officials will not let it cross until every item is itemized in alphabetical order.
American officials at the Canada-U.S. border have stopped a shipment of relief goods for the Moore, Oklahoma victims in Windsor, Ontario. They will not allow the shipment into the U.S. until the inventory has been alphabetically itemized and the country of origin is stamped on each item.
U.S. President Barack Obama has not declared Moore, Oklahoma a disaster area. So, the 52-foot, 44,000 pound shipment is considered just that, a shipment. Not humanitarian aid.
Considering that the savagely beaten town was riddled with another bunch of storms last night - power flashes flickered throughout the town and one tornado traveled the same path as the May 20 funnel - the request seems a bit petty.
Dennis Sauve, the volunteer co-ordinator for Windsor Lifeline Outreach and the food bank co-ordinator at the Windsor Christian Fellowship, the two organizations that gathered the goods, said it's a "physical impossibility" to do the paperwork required in time to get the perishable food to Oklahoma before it spoils.
The May 20, EF5 tornado swept through Moore, Oklahoma taking 24 lives and 1,200 homes with it. The 200-mile winds, clearly destroyed everything in its path and left nearby areas devastated too. A total of 10,000 homes received some sort of damage from the tornado.
The shipment was to be sent to the Gate Church or Oklahoma City, both about a 20 minute drive from the devastation. The truck, originally scheduled to leave Wednesday, was still sitting as of Friday.
Bishop Tony Miller of Gate Church, has asked his congressman for help. He emailed U.S. Congressman James Langford who is now in touch with FEMA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to resolve the issue.
"That's not something that ever crossed my mind, that we'd have these issues," Miller said. "Especially when it's coming from reputable people. They only had the heart to help people."
Emergency officials in the Moore, Oklahoma area are now urging cash donations. The self-deployed volunteers are becoming overwhelmed with the well-meaning donations of 'stuff.' The growing pile of clothing and perishable items distract from the recovery effort and create additional costs. The Red Cross and Salvation Army are accepting donations on behalf of the Moore, Oklahoma residents.
More about Canada, Moore, Tornado, Donation, US
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