Deadly storms struck Kentucky, Indiana, and other states Friday afternoon, March 2. At least 13 people have died in Kentucky in Kenton, Laurel, Lawrence, Menifee, and Morgan Counties. Many others have been injured.
Tornadoes touched down in West Liberty and Salyersville (both located in the Prestonsburg District) and did major damage to homes and businesses in the towns. West Liberty United Methodist Church sustained major damage. Piner, located in Kenton County (Covington District), also sustained damage. Residents of other towns have experienced similar devastation from the storms that roared through the state on both Wednesday and Friday, and assessment continues in all areas.
The Kentucky Conference has set up a disaster response fund (Advance # KY200902). In response to the recent tornado outbreak, these funds will be used to alleviate human suffering in the Kentucky and Southern Indiana area. Some funds may be used if needed for church and parsonage repair if not covered by insurance damage.
Bishop Lindsey Davis has issued the following statement.
Sisters and Brothers, the devastating tornadoes yesterday here in Kentucky, Indiana and other states have left us heartbroken for those who have died and been injured. Communities have been damaged and recovery will take time, but we know that God sees our pain and God will provide for us in these days to come. I call on all United Methodists to unite in prayer for all who have been affected by these storms. We are a generous people and I urge our churches to respond by giving to our Annual Conference special offering. These funds will be used to assist those who have been harmed. May God bless us as we work together.
Blessings, Bishop Lindsey Davis
To donate, make check payable to Kentucky Conference Treasurer and include Advance #KY200902 in the memo line. Mail checks to Kentucky Annual Conference, Attn. Tornado Response, 7400 Floydsburg Rd., Crestwood, KY 40014. You may also donate by clicking on the button below.
Kentucky Conference Disaster Response Coordinator Jim Morse has spoken with response leaders from around the state and wanted to share the following information.
For almost all the areas in eastern Kentucky, there are issues with unsolicited volunteers and donations which are creating problems for trained first responders. We know that everyone wants to help and that is appreciated. The best thing we can do as United Methodists right now is pray for the situation, provide monetary donations (see above) and wait until there are mechanisms in place to receive trained volunteers and material donations.
We will continue to update our website as more information becomes available and as volunteers and materials can be received in ways that help the situation.