On July 28 most of southeast Kentucky experienced a torrential downpour from a rainstorm. In some places, they experienced up to 11 inches of rain in less than 2 hours. This left many people homeless, or with damaged homes and property. Stories of people holding on for dear life on top of their home, as the flood waters swept through is a big part of what we are hearing as we visit in the various counties.
Some people are calling this a 1,000-year flood, seeing that the depth and scope of the flooding is unmatched in recorded history.
FEMA and The Red Cross were activated early on within the affected area, with a call for Natural Disaster Status by the State Governor, followed by the same from the President of the United States. United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR https://umcmission.org/umcor/) responded as well. In fact, many people raced in to rescue and give relief from several parts of the state and nation. We have seen teams from Southern Baptist, Latter Days Saints, Mennonites, and many other church groups who have headed the call to help. Red Bird Missionary Conference and Kentucky Conference churches have hosted several Early Response Teams (ERTs) and Disaster Assessors to begin the work of relief.
The United Methodist Church, the Kentucky Conference and Red Bird Missionary Conference have come together in their response; appointing Jim Savage (RBMC CDRC) as the East Kentucky Regional Response Coordinator. The job of the Regional Response Coordinator is to coordinate relief and recovery teams throughout the area and to work with the Long-Term Recovery Groups (LTRG) of each county through funding of UMCOR grants and other donations, as well as coordinating Response Teams into the area.
Another position that has been put in place within the Conference is that of Case Management Coordinator. Suzie Savage has been hired in this position. The CMC will coordinate and fund both Case Workers and Case Managers that are a part of the County LTRGs, again through funding by grants from UMCOR.
As you can see, your donations to UMCOR, your Annual Conference Relief Ministries, and to Red Bird Missionary Conference is vitally important.
We thank Kathy and Dana Bryson from Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church who gave of their time as UMCOR representatives to help coordinate and train our Conference Disaster Response team and help us to connect with leaders in each county to form their LTRG. Without the help of UMCOR, our readiness to respond to such a disaster would be much slower getting started. But, with expertise given we are now able to respond, fund and encourage LTRGs from around the area.
We want to thank you, our partners as you have donated for recovery efforts.