Update on Kentucky Flooding

July 17, 2015

Over this past weekend and again Monday night, many counties in the Kentucky Conference experienced flooding and damage from straight line winds, An Advance number has been set up for those that would like to contribute monetarily. The Advance number to use to donate money is KY200902, this number will ensure that money will be used for Kentucky Disaster relief needs. Also, we have applied for a $10,000 emergency grant from United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

Information about the state of emergency throughout our conference:
*Governor Brashear has declared a statewide disaster declaration effective Tuesday afternoon.
* State and Federal officials will be conducting property damage assessments this weekend to determine if there is enough damage for a federal declaration. 
*Rowan County - experienced damage in a trailer park from the storms and many of the people had to be evacuated to Red Cross Shelters.
*Morgan County - reports water and debris on many roads and most of the county and West Liberty were without power last night.
*Menifee County - reports of several families with flood damage.
*Magoffin County - reports of flooding issues and water rescues in the Burning Fork and Mashfork areas east of Salyersville.
*Lawrence County - reports of mudslides and some homes damaged by fallen trees.
*Fleming County - several homes damaged or destroyed by straight-line winds. Extent is still being assessed.
* Search/Rescue/Recovery efforts continue in Johnson County. There are three confirmed fatalities. The amounts and type of damage are much more disturbing in person than what we see through the media. Most of the modular or prefabricated homes are not salvageable. If the structure is “stick built” or brick, they may be salvageable. The structures that can be saved will take significant effort in most cases. In many cases, the modular homes are mostly intact in appearance, but structurally unsound. They may also be on top of trees or vehicles hundreds of feet from where they started.
*Many of the flood areas are not yet ready to receive volunteer teams and they are still setting up the structure to receive donations. When they are ready, information as to what is needed and where it is needed will be posted.
*Red House UMC in Madison County between Fort Boonesboro and Richmond has sustained substantial flood damage in this event. According to our latest figures, flood repairs and expenses are $9,577.00. These repairs covered the fellowship hall/basement of the church building which included:
1. Removing carpet and laying down tile that was then sealed.
2. Restroom repair and wallpapering.
3. Replacing the air conditioning unit.
4. Painting

Red House is a small church that would welcome any assistance; monetarily, hands on, in kind or any of each. Contact Jim Morse (jim.morse7311@gmail.com) or James Williams (jwilliams@lexumc.com) for contact information for the pastor.
* Our churches in Paintsville continue to support relief operations by providing clothing from local clothing pantry supplies, create more clean-up kits, provide meals to the shelter operating and providing spiritual support to the disaster survivors.

The Paintsville UMC churches will be working with other local groups and officials to identify who will be collecting “work orders” for volunteer teams over the next couple of weeks so teams can be matched to tasks that fit their gifts and graces. Jim Morse will be contacting people in Rowan and Carter Counties to do the same. For teams coming into the area, keep in mind that churches that house these teams will spend between $100 to $150 a day for utilities and building maintenance, depending on the team size. Please keep this in mind as you plan your efforts.
Here is the most current list of items needed in the area:
Baby diapers
Baby food
Baby formula
Baby wipes
Water (drinking)
Nonperishable food items
Contact lens solution
Personal care items
Toilet paper
Paper towels
Hand sanitizer
First Aid care items
Flash lights
Rubber boots
Rubber gloves
Clorox Wipes
Bug Spray
Cleaning supplies
Mops, buckets, brooms, dustpans
Districts will establish multiple collection points throughout their district for the items being donated. Once the items have been collected we will then work on getting them forwarded to the distribution center in Johnson County or other areas in the disaster area.
Other information to be aware of:
The sisters of Mercy, a local of Johnson County group, have requested of church world services the following items: 500 cleanup buckets,600 hygiene gets,350 blankets,60 baby kits, and 150 school kits. These items will be delivered within the next day or so.
Samaritan's purse will be arriving tomorrow with volunteers for specific missions, assessors, and Billy Graham chaplains.
The local agencies in Johnson County have established a donation center at the Johnson County high school. We will be delivering whatever supplies we collect to that location. (Johnson Central High School address: 257 North Mayo Trail, Paintsville, Ky 41240)
Collect cleaning supplies, cleaning tools, waterproof totes, baby food and baby care items, toilet paper and paper towels.
The emergency response mode, specifically search/rescue/recovery, may not be complete in Johnson County until the first part of next week. Any churches wishing to deploy work teams to the area should plan on after the first part of next week at the earliest.
Over the next couple of days Jim Morse will be developing contact information so that when church teams are available and wishing to respond to help out either in Johnson County or other areas, that they will have that appropriate people that they can contact to make sure that they're expected and that they will have specific jobs matched for their gifts and graces. Again, let me stress that any teams that deploy during the first few weeks should go and plan on being as self-sufficient as possible.
While the primary attention is on Johnson and Rowan counties, appropriately so, there are other areas within the conference that may be needing assistance as well. We need to continue our efforts in identifying those areas and identifying what those needs may be. As you speak to other pastors and congregations please be mindful of asking if there are other areas that we need to be made aware of and who we should be contacting.
The donation center, located at Johnson County High School, will be moved to another location the first of next week.  The new location is still to be determined. We will share the new location as soon as that information is known. The needs most mentioned to our churches are for non-perishable foodstuffs. At the time of this writing, there are still 2000+ people without water and many still isolated by road and tree damage.
Things that you can do in the meantime:
-Continue to pray.
-Consider putting together clean up teams that can respond. These teams should be VIM trained at the minimum. The teams should also be prepared to be as self-sufficient as possible if they deploy in the next few weeks. Forward the willingness, availability, and team skills to your district coordinator and to the Conference Coordinator (Jim Morse at jim.morse7311@gmail.com)
Please continue your efforts in collecting donations, both of supplies and of monetary. This may take longer to recover from than the tornadoes.