|Flooded Indiana areas get United Methodist
Furniture and household items
destroyed in a Jan. 8 flood sit outside a home near Lake
Freeman in northern Indiana. UMNS photos by
Daniel R. Gangler.
By Daniel R. Gangler*
Jan. 23, 2008 |
MONTICELLO, Ind. (UMNS)
United Methodists are joining other faith groups to provide
relief for hundreds of northern Indiana flood survivors whose
homes were heavily damaged by muddy waters.
Bishop Michael Coyner visits with flood survivors Harry
Lois Albert in
three northern Indiana communities of Remington, Monticello
and Delphi were hard hit by early-morning flood waters on Jan.
8. United Methodist Bishop Mike Coyner of Indianapolis visited
with pastors of each community on Jan. 19 and toured
flood-ravaged areas in Jasper, White and Carroll
As of mid-January, three United Methodist
churches in the area had distributed more than 500 flood
buckets, received $10,000 from the United Methodist Committee
on Relief to meet immediate needs of flood survivors, and
coordinated help from volunteers across the state.
Coyner toured Remington with the Rev. Mary van Wijk
and trustees of Remington United Methodist Church. Street
curbs throughout the community were lined with water-drenched
mattresses, furniture and appliances. Most homes had a
dumpster filled with debris sitting on the driveway. More than
200 homes were affected in Jasper County, according to Wijk.
The hardest hit residents were 57 families who lived
in a trailer park. Government authorities permitted only 35
families back in their homes.
Two senior residents,
Harry and Lois Alberts, were awakened by the fire department
on the night of the flood. They, along with 200 Remington
residents, spent the rest of the night in the First Christian
Church. The last of 30 residents were still living at the
shelter 10 days later. The public shelter has since been
The Alberts sustained more than $25,000 in
damages due to a flooded basement. Coyner and Wijk prayed with
the elderly couple in a house across the street from their
home, where vacationing neighbors welcomed the Alberts until
their house is repaired.
"I am used to giving to
people, so receiving all this help is a bit overwhelming,"
said Lois Albert. "We are so fortunate friends and family (to
Coyner visited the
American Red Cross Center set up in the Remington Public
Library to help residents complete forms for government
assistance once the area is declared a disaster. Red Cross
volunteers also handed out United Methodist-supplied flood
buckets filled with cleaning supplies.
discusses flood relief efforts with American Red Cross
30 miles east of Remington on U.S. 24, Coyner and Wijk toured
flooded areas along the Tippecanoe River between Shafer and
Freeman lakes, where more than 300 homes were affected.
Accompanying them were the Revs. Brian Beeks and Alex Hershey
of Monticello United Methodist Church and the Rev. Todd Ladd
of Delphi United Methodist Church.
They walked through
the home of an elderly single woman who lost all her
belongings when flood waters reached six feet deep. The house
was being mucked by a volunteer group from Indiana University
in Bloomington. The volunteers received their assignment
through the Monticello church, which is cooperating with 12
other area churches to assist survivors.
Ladd said more
than 30 volunteers worked out of the Delphi church during the
past week to provide assistance to area residents. More than
300 families were affected by the flooding in Carroll County.
Southern Baptist and Presbyterian Church USA relief
groups also worked with United Methodists and other faith
groups in flood relief in the three counties.
is director of communication for the Indiana Area of The
United Methodist Church.
News media contact: Linda
Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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