Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers working through Colbert-Lauderdale Association moved quickly this morning (March 25) to help with cleanup efforts in Florence following an overnight strike from tornadoes coming out of Mississippi. Read more on Mississippi’s damage here.
Chainsaw teams spent the day clearing downed trees in several Florence neighborhoods while chaplains and other DR officials made their way through the damaged areas doing assessments and prepping for the DR teams coming in tomorrow.
Hartselle, Hamilton and Bear Creek also reported similar damage — downed trees and power lines, power outages, roof and property damage, and reportedly some injuries in the Hartselle area. Disaster Relief volunteer needs have not yet been reported for Hartselle, Hamilton and Bear Creek.
More workers on the way
Mark Wakefield, ABDR strategist, confirmed with The Baptist Paper that at least one additional DR team (possibly two) will join the Colbert-Lauderdale team for cleanup efforts in Florence.
ABDR teams also may be needed in Mississippi, Wakefield said, noting he doesn’t have specifics yet on where the team/teams being called out for Florence and possibly Mississippi will serve.
Wakefield commended Eddy Garner, recently retired associational missions strategist for Colbert-Lauderdale Association, for his quick work in coordinating the DR efforts in Florence.
“Eddy is taking care of the assessments, coordinating the local DR team’s effort and keeping me posted on their needs,” Wakefield said, noting it was Garner who called to request more DR teams.
‘Seeing where the needs are’
Garner said about a dozen DR workers, along with other volunteers from area churches, have been assisting homeowners throughout the day.
“They’ve been putting tarps on roofs, cutting trees, getting trees off houses and basically seeing where the needs are and how we can help,” he shared with The Baptist Paper.
“Some houses are without roofs, some have trees still sitting on them. There are a lot of trees and power lines down and power is out for a lot of people. Certain places were hit pretty bad.
“One family needs a place to stay for a few nights, so we are working to find them housing,” Garner added.
“This storm surprised us,” he said. “Even with the sirens going off and the phone alerts going off, we didn’t think it was as bad as it was until we got up this morning and saw the damage.”
No deaths or serious injuries have been reported in the Florence area.
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