August 19, 2009
As damage assessments continue, volunteers begin helping residents whose homes were damaged by flash flooding this week.
Your Help Is Needed!!
If you are within driving distance of Louisville, KY, and have some time to give, please consider this request for assistance.
On August 4, over 6 inches of rain fell in a short period of time in the Louisville, KY area. Over 1,000 families have requested clean-up help. (Some help can be provided in a couple of hours; one house took six days to complete.) There is a need for help from congregations all over the Indiana-Kentucky Conference. At present, there are very adequate facilities for sleeping (bring your own sleeping bags and air mattresses), eating (some food is provided, the rest prepared by workers), and showering (several showers) in two churches and other churches are being prepared for workers.
Individuals and groups are encouraged to come for a day or more. Labor Day weekend might work out well for some who need to travel more than a couple of hours. Workers need an up-to-date tetanus shot; they are encouraged to bring work boots and wear old clothes. Other protective gear will be provided.
For more information or to schedule yourself or group, please contact: Maurice Lefevre at firstname.lastname@example.org or, if no answer within 24 hours; contact Mary Anna Speller at email@example.com.
United Church of Christ disaster response coordinator in the Indiana-Kentucky Conference, Mary Anna Speller, sent the following report on the latest weather related disaster in Louisville, KY. As long term needs are identified, the UCC will work with local partners on the ground to assist with repairing damaged homes. When there is need for volunteer work groups to help with this work, information will be posted on the UCC web site. Funds to assist with relief efforts and long term recovery should be sent to the OGHS special fund Emergency USA; or, you may donate on line (see below for information).
Report from Indiana-Kentucky Conference, Disaster Response Coordinator:
The main office of the Louisville Free Public Library downtown surged with more than three feet of water August 4, 2009 when about six inches of water fell on the city in an hour. The library's parking garage was flooded damaging the library's Bookmoviles.
Five United Church of Christ local churches had water damage which they are in process of cleaning up. Numerous homes have been damaged by the flooding. As of this date, there are more than 2,200 requests for assistance in the wider community.
The National Weather Service in Louisville gathered reports of four to six inches of rainfall in an hour and a half throughout the city reaching as high as 7.4 inches at the McAlpine River Dam on the Ohio River, according to meteorologist Joe Ammerman.
Much of the floodwater has been pumped from the streets; however, there are many homes and public buildings that have water in their basements, including the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library downtown.
The Louisville Animal Shelter Services successfully relocated 450 animals to temporary shelter at the fair grounds, and PetSmart Charities has already stepped in to provide the food and facility needs for these animals.
The scope of damage has not been determined as of yet; teams provided by the National Guard are currently doing door to door assessments in the hardest hit area, which encompasses about a 23 block radius surrounding the University of Louisville, according to officials.
The most need for assistance, according to officials, has come from senior adults who are unable to do the work themselves and other residents who are concerned with where to place the accumulated debris.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1. Pray for people who live in communities affected by floods.
2. To help those affected by disasters you may, send gifts payable to your congregation marked for OGHS special fund Emergency USA with the request they be sent through your Conference office on to Wider Church Ministries.
3. Send gifts, made out to Wider Church Ministries and marked in the memo portion OGHS special fund Emergency USA to UCC Financial Services; Wider Church Ministries; 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.
4. Make a secure on-line donation Donate Now