|United Methodists to assess hurricane’s impact |
Drivers in the College Town neighborhood of Baton Rouge,
La., are blocked Sept. 1 by downed trees following Hurricane Gustav.
UMNS photos by Mike DuBose.
Sept. 2, 2008 | NEW YORK (UMNS)
The United Methodist Committee on Relief is working with United
Methodists in the U.S. Gulf Coast region to respond to Hurricane Gustav.
Two million people fled the Gulf Coast as Gustav approached, but the
intensity of the storm, when it struck Sept. 1, did not reach that of
Hurricane Katrina three years earlier. New Orleans, which had braced for
the worst, escaped a direct hit as Gustav made landfall west of the
By the next day, the National Hurricane Center had downgraded Gustav to a
tropical depression, but heavy rains and the threat of tornados
lingered in the region.
Gustav hit Baton Rouge, La., particularly hard, according to a United Methodist News Service reporter there.
Residents check on damage
in their neighborhood.
UMCOR staff was expected to be on the ground in the region by Sept. 3 to
begin assessing needs, according to the Rev. Tom Hazelwood, who leads
UMCOR Emergency Services in the United States.
Before Gustav made landfall, UMCOR staff members were in touch with the
denomination’s Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama-West Florida
annual conferences to offer support.
The UMCOR Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, La., appeared to have
suffered no structural damage from the hurricane, according to
Hazelwood. Glenn Druilhet, the depot’s manager, reported that trees were
down and power out in the Baldwin area, which escaped major damage.
Staff members had secured the warehouse in preparation for Gustav but
left at noon Aug. 29 under mandatory evacuation orders. The depot is
not expected to be operational again until the end of the week.
How to help
United Methodists are being encouraged by UMCOR to ship flood buckets
and other kits to Sager Brown as soon as it reopens. Information about
flood bucket preparation can be found online.
A few days earlier, Gustav killed at least 77 people and caused
damage in Haiti. UMCOR personnel in Haiti also are assessing the need
for a response to damage there by Gustav.
Donations to assist with relief efforts can be made to UMCOR Advance
No. 3019695, “Hurricanes 2008, Hurricane Gustav,” for this emergency.
Checks can be mailed to UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087. Write
the Advance number and name on the memo line of the check. Credit-card
donations can be made online.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or email@example.com.
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