Hurricane Isaac Update

August 30, 2012

Hurricane Isaac made landfall August 29 as a slow moving Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 40 to 80 miles per hour. While it only is producing Category 1 winds, it is a large and wide ranging storm with a significant storm surge that will continue to produce drenching rains from the Florida panhandle to the eastern coast of Texas. The storm is extremely slow moving and is still over the Louisiana coast where it continues to sustain its energy from the waters of the gulf.

The continued storm surge combined with high tides will significantly add to the coastal flooding. Damage assessments cannot start until to storm moves past the coast. As it moves north, heavy rains can be expected to cause significant inland flooding. It is also not uncommon for tornadoes to spin off from a hurricane.

The town of Plaquemines, La., (south of Baton Rouge) has been flooded when Mississippi River waters overtopped the town's levee. Residents are reporting as much as 12 feet of water in their homes. Rescue operations are underway. Mass care sheltering operations are up and running in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Power outages are reported in several states. As many as 500,000 customers have lost power in Louisiana; it will take several days before power is restored. Earlier heavy rains from Isaac drenched parts of Florida and surveys are underway there to determine the storm's impact. There was flash flooding on the eastern coast of Florida and some storm surge flooding on the western coast.

Our partners at Church World Service have dispatched Emergency Response Specialists to work with state, regional and local VOADs (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), partner denominations and other agencies to assess needs and determine how to respond. CWS will provide material resources, including blankets, hygiene kits and clean-up buckets, as requested. Response Specialists will also assist communities in developing long-term recovery plans, providing technical and financial support, as possible.

How You Can Help

1. Pray for the people and communities impacted by Tropical Storm Isaac and those serving as first responder emergency personnel.

2. Make a gift payable to your congregation marked for 2012 severe storms, with the request they be sent through your Conference Office on to United Church of Christ, Financial Services, 700 Prospect Avenue E, Cleveland, OH 44115

OR

3. Send gifts, payable to United Church of Christ and marked in the memo portion 2012 Severe Storms, then mail to United Church of Christ, Financial Services, 700 Prospect Avenue E, Cleveland, OH 44115.

OR

4. Make a secure on-line donation. Donate Now.

5. Assemble Church World Service clean up and hygiene kits which are urgently needed.

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