Churches, communities assess damage from tornadoes
By United Methodist News ServiceCommunities
from western Texas to Georgia were assessing damages May 5 after
tornadoes struck the south central and southeastern United States,
leaving at least 35 people dead.
United Methodist officials in
some states gave preliminary reports on the damages in their
communities, even as the assessment - and the storms - continued.
City, Mo., was devastated by a tornado May 4. Not one business or house
in the small town was undamaged. Officials are reporting that the
pastor there is OK, and a conference staff member was on his way to lend
assistance. Communications are much impaired.
The new Carl
Junction (Mo.) United Methodist Church was demolished. About 25 people
in the church were unhurt. The community is near Joplin.
sides of the Stockton (Mo.) United Methodist Church - northwest of
Springfield, Mo. - were taken out by the storms. Members of the youth
group, who had been at the church, were evacuated to nearby homes, where
they rode out the storm safely in various basements.
people took shelter in the basement of Battlefield (Mo.) United
Methodist Church, south of Springfield. The condition of the church is
not known, but the house next door was destroyed.
other areas of Missouri, including Kansas City, are known to have wind
and water damage. Many homes were damaged in Kansas City and suburbs,
including those of church members. The Ozark Methodist Manor, the
church's retirement home in Marionville, Mo., received minor wind
In Crawford County in southeastern Kansas, four people
died, including one United Methodist. One of the parsonages was damaged
when the chimney fell on the roof. The Parsons District disaster trailer
was deployed to Arma, Kan.
Cherokee County, also in
southeastern Kansas, had three fatalities, including a United Methodist.
Many church members suffered damaged homes and businesses.
Jackson, Tenn., reported 11 dead and many injured after a tornado
during the night of May 4. The Memphis Annual (regional) Conference
headquarters, several miles from downtown Jackson, was not damaged, but
the Jackson United Methodist Church in downtown was damaged. Mother
Liberty CME Church, also downtown, was destroyed.
were broken off, and a lack of power and water pressure has officials
concerned. Additional storms were sweeping the area throughout May 5.
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