Tornadoes strike Missouri and Southern Illinois

April 25, 2011

People in Missouri and Southern Illinois are cleaning up from tornadoes and are now preparing to battle spring flooding. Though no serious injuries reported, residents were still assessing tornado damage.

Easter Sunday services were held by candlelight at Immanuel UCC in Ferguson, Mo. Immanuel suffered minor damage to one building from a tornado that went through St. Louis and nearby areas. Power outages and widespread destruction of homes, churches and businesses have been reported.

Approximately 750 homes sustained damages and 100 were destroyed. The Lambert-Saint Louis International Airport also had significant damage and was closed through Monday.

Nearby, the small community of Poplar Bluff, Mo., is facing what is being described as an "imminent failure" of a compromised levee along the Black River. One thousand of the approximately 17,000 residents have been evacuated. As of Tuesday morning, Missouri officials reported the levee had been breached and that water is coursing into a rural but populated area outside the city limits.

New Life Christian Church United, the UCC/Disciples of Christ Church, in Poplar Bluff is preparing for the flooding.

The UCC Missouri Mid-South Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, working with the Conference Minister, has been checking on UCC members and church facilities and will provide more information as it becomes available.  At this time, the UCC Illinois South Conference and Disaster Response Coordinator report no damage to UCC members’ homes or church facilities.

The United Church of Christ’s Disaster Ministries anticipates participating in an ecumenical effort to assist people to repair and rebuild homes.



How you can help

1. Pray for people who live in communities affected by tornadoes and 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.

OR

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.
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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