Folks – I will be in NJ and NYC covering the relief efforts. Please be praying for the teams from Samaritan’s Purse and for the people we will be helping. Please read below:
01 NOVEMBER 2012
Hurricane Sandy made landfall at 8 p.m. Monday night. Although it was considerably weakened, winds that stretched across almost 500 miles caused widespread damage. The storm’s fierce winds and rain brought flooding and power outage throughout more than a half-dozen states. The death toll from the storm is currently at more than 80 in the U.S. and could continue to rise as rescuers search house-to-house. Around 4.5 million people are still without power. Many roads and subways are closed, and more than 18,000 flights have been canceled. Lack of transportation combined with a lack of fuel in the area has made traveling into and around the area is a difficult task.
In one of the hardest hit areas, Bergen County experienced a levee break during the storm and was flooded with four feet of water in 30 minutes. Although most of the water has receded, more than 300 homes (not including those in trailer parks) have been affected. Officials have estimated that 20,000 are stranded in their homes.
HOW SAMARITAN’S PURSE IS RESPONDING
- Four program managers have been sent to specific areas for assessment, and we have established three areas for our response.
- Tony McNeil is leading the Atlantic County Response. He has set up a base at Linwood Community Church in Linwood, N.J. The church has the capacity to hold 75 volunteers right now and may be able to expand. A team of day volunteers will start work Saturday, and we hope that overnight volunteers will be able to arrive starting Sunday night. Most of the work in this area will be mud outs.
- Lloyd Blackwell is leading the Bergen County Response. He has set up a base at North Jersey Vineyard Church in Teterboro, N.J. It’s half a mile from Little Ferry, Moonachie, and Carlstadt, which are the three townships we will be focusing on. Blackwell has not yet had a chance to start assessing. Local volunteers will start work Saturday, and we hope to start scheduling overnight volunteers starting Sunday night.
- Brent Graybeal is leading the Ocean County Response. He has set up a base at The Church of Grace and Peace in Tom’s River, N.J. The church has the capacity for 54 volunteers but is looking for other housing options for volunteers. Local volunteers will start work Saturday. Much of the town is still without power, but the church hopes to have 90 percent of its power restored by Sunday night. Because of the lack of electricity, we are not yet scheduling overnight volunteers.
- Wayne Shoemaker is assessing Breezy Point, N.Y. So far, he has only seen flood damage, but he knows many homes in the area were burned. So far, local officials and churches have not yet said whether they need our help, but we are making contacts.
- Three Disaster Relief Units were sent out from North Wilkesboro, N.C., to follow the program managers Tuesday morning. These three units are now in Atlantic, Bergen, and Ocean counties. There are two other units in North Wilkesboro and one unit in New Brunswick that can travel to disaster sites if needed.
- We are now sending shower trailers, kitchen trailers, generators, and other required equipment to the sites that need them.
- Our main priority will be finding homeowners that we can help right now in their time of need with a focus on low-lying, low income areas. Most of the work will likely be tree removal and mud outs.
- Three sets of Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains are now on the ground and helping to assess and find people in need.
- For God to comfort those who have lost their homes or loved ones during this storm.
- That God will show local churches and our teams how they can work together to help these communities while glorifying Him.
- For local officials as they work to help people during this time of need.
- That volunteers will have safe travels as they begin traveling to the sites.
Donations: Go to www.samaritanspurse.org or call 800.528.1980.