April 6, 2010
March in the northeast United States ended as one of the wettest on record, and several days of rain have compounded problems caused by rains last week -- rains that caused flooding in several states.
Particularly hard-hit with flooding now are the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The flooding in Rhode Island is so serious that it has even prompted suspension of train travel between New York City and Boston and closed portions of Interstate 95.
Several counties have already received federal disaster declarations for individual assistance and the number is expected to grow as flood waters crest and begin to recede over Easter weekend.
Reports from United Church of Christ Conferences and Disaster Network Coordinators in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island indicate a number of UCC church buildings have sustained basement and sub-basement flooding. Thousands of homes and businesses throughout the Northeast – including New Jersey and extending into West Virginia – are flooded.
One Great Hour of Sharing emergency grants have been offered to impacted UCC Conferences.
Church World Service Emergency Response Specialist, and UCC member, Joann Hale is coordinating the CWS response in the northeast. Hale has been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to bring CWS's Recovery Tools and Training program to the affected communities. Recovery Tools and Training is a CWS program that has been used across the country to assist local communities in planning for their long-term recovery efforts.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1. Pray for people who live in communities affected by flooding.
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 mad out to Wider Church Ministries and marked in the memo portion OGHS special fund Emergency USA to UCC Financial Services; Wider Church Ministries, Financial Services, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.
4. Make a secure on-line donation to Emergency USA.