Thursday, May 28, 2015

From Presbyterian Disaster Assistance - Response to Massive Flooding

couple walking rhough flood waters
Couple wading though flood waters — FEMA-Marvin Nauman


Numerous states have been affected by flooding this year due to the melting from heavy snow fall and a higher than average amount of rainfall. More than 150 locations in the central and southern Plains are currently reporting river flooding, the majority of which are in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, eastern Kansas and western Missouri.
The recent — and seemingly ongoing—spring storms continue to affect parts of Texas and Oklahoma. Severe weather over the Memorial Day weekend left at least 17 people dead, and at least 30 people missing, and thousands of homes washed away.
Officials in parts of Texas are warning that flooding could last for weeks in the wake of unprecedented amounts of May rainfall. According to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, at least 4 inches of rain has fallen on at least one location in the state of Texas everyday since May 5.
The prediction of additional thunderstorms and more rain expected to fall on areas that are water-logged will increase the severity of the flooding.

PDA Response

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has been in continual contact with mid-councils that have been experiencing storms and flooding. One Great Hour of Sharing funds have been sent to Grace and New Covenant Presbyteries, and we are expecting a request for funds from additional presbyteries. Currently, eight members of the National Response Team (NRT) — four teams— are in Texas to help Presbyterian leadership in responding to needs within their communities. We have learned of at least one church, St. Paul church in Houston, which has sustained flood damage.
NRT members will also be visiting the John Knox Ranch camp. The camp is situated on the Blanco River, location of some of the most violent and severe flash flooding.
The large area and the severity of flooding in Texas has prompted PDA to assign a NRT member to serve as coordinator to help manage the flooding response in Texas. 

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