A major winter storm in March and frequent, sometimes heavy April rain have devastated parts of West Virginia.
In March, Winter Storm Thor delivered snow and strong rain to southern WV, causing flooding and mudslides in Lincoln, Mingo and Wayne counties. 220 families in this region required assistance in the aftermath of the storm.
FEMA issued a federal public assistance declaration for eleven counties, but this declaration did not provide financial aid to families.
In early April, heavy rain storms once again fell in southern West Virginia, affecting Lincoln, Mingo, Boone, Wayne, and Cabell counties. As of publication, 855 families have needed assistance. Again, FEMA has issued a public assistance declaration for these counties and assessments for individual assistance are underway.
West Virginia Conference Disaster Response Ministries have been very active during this time – we have helped with assessments, provided spiritual and emotional care to individuals and families, helped with temporary housing, and provided cleaning (flood) buckets and other supplies. We have also helped plan for recovery work with West Virginia Volunteers Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) and Volunteers-in-Mission (VIM) work teams.
We need your help! UMCOR has provided emergency relief funds, but they will be quickly exhausted. Please ask your congregation to take up an offering or make a financial contribution to the West Virginia Conference Disaster Relief Fund. Make your contribution by check payable to “WV Conference Treasurer” and send it to P. O. Box 2469, Charleston, WV 25329.
You can also help by assembling cleaning (flood) buckets and bringing them to Annual Conference. UMCOR’s website provides a great how-to for building cleaning (flood) buckets, and you can learn more on page 30 of the pre-conference workbook.
If you have any questions, contact me, Rev. Dan Lowther at 304-642-0897 or Rev. Sue Lowther at 304-642-0896, All contributions go toward providing short and long term recovery to those in need. Thank you!
Revs. Dan and Sue Lowther
WV Conference Disaster Relief Co-Coordinators