In late June, a flash flood swept through West Virginia leaving 23 confirmed dead, large numbers of homes destroyed, and others without power. A little over one month later many are still in the relief stage, while others are beginning the early stages of long-term recovery.
In a recent update with Sherri Shafer, our Lutheran Disaster Response coordinator and Executive Director of Community Lutheran Partners (CLP) in West Virginia, we learned that CLP was able to purchase 4 tractor loads worth of furniture to be distributed once rebuilding begins. We also learned that, in an effort to get back to a normal life, some had started to put up new drywall in their homes before their homes had had a chance to dry out. In the wake of this news, Thanks to CLP and a great deal from Wagner Meters in Washington State, CLP is providing 30 professional quality moisture meters (5 of which were donated by Wagner Meters) to the disaster affected communities. The meters will be under the supervision of WV VOAD and will be tools of great value not only in this disaster but in future disasters.
Along with other efforts, CLP is supporting local emotional and spiritual care efforts by deploying Pastors to emotional and spiritual care sights in West Virginia. In response to a recent Facebook post by Lutheran Disaster Response, Rev. Emilie Theobald-Rowlands, Pastor of Christ Lutheran in West Virginia, reflected on her experience at one of the sights:
… What I am able to tell you is that I have heard and seen stories of amazing resilience and hope; as well as heartache, deep grief and loss. Folks in the communities in these areas continue to work together; but the loss of homes, properties, businesses, livelihoods and for some the loss of loved ones is difficult. The recovery will not be a sprint, but one of long term recovery. Some of the folks I have met in this Center, do not have a safe place yet to stay…and if they are able to stay in their current homes, there is still not clean water or electricity in some parts of the area…mold is becoming a larger concern in many places… we are thankful to all who continue to reach out and help in many different ways through financial donations and volunteers…and I would encourage you to continue to pray for our folks here in West Virginia; and consider helping through Lutheran Disaster Response…in the months and even years ahead – there will be a need both financially and in terms of volunteering to help rebuild these communities. Many thanks for your continued prayers and support. – Rev. Emilie Theobald-Rowlands
Lutheran Disaster Response is thankful for the dedication and the witness of Rev. Theobald-Rowlands. We are also thankful for Sherri Shaffer and our affiliate Community Lutheran Partners, Bishop Matthew Riegel and the West Virginia- West Maryland Synod, as well as, Dale and Jean Peercy, Lutheran Disaster Response’s Trainers/Consultants, various other partners, and last but not least, all of you. Thanks to your donations, we can continue to bring God’s hope and healing to those most vulnerable in West Virginia.
Be a part of the response:
Continue to pray for the people affected by the flooding, may God’s healing presence comfort them in their time of need.
Gifts to West Virginia Flooding designated under U.S. Flooding will be used to assist those directly impacted until the response is complete.
To learn more about what Lutheran Disaster Response is doing:
- Use this bulletin insert to share within your networks.
- Visit our website at LDR.org
- Sign up to receive Lutheran Disaster Response alerts.
- Like Lutheran Disaster Response on Facebook.
- Follow us on Twitter.
To learn more or sign up for volunteer opportunities:
- Log onto clp-online.org to download volunteer forms.
- Sign up through Volunteer WV https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/16Floods