“Iowa, North Carolina, and Kansas were all affected by this storm system,” said World Renew DRS Director Bill Adams. “A member of Terra Ceia CRC in North Carolina said that the church was unharmed. Our regional managers there, Rick and Bonnie Wiersma, reported that there was damage to 200 homes in the outlying areas and two dozen additional houses in Elizabeth City.”
World Renew completed work in the same area in North Carolina last month in a nearly 3-year response to Hurricane Irene in August 2011. About 900 volunteers completed repairs and rebuilding on more than 160 homes in that response. It is not yet known if these are the same areas that were affected last weekend.
On Sunday at least 16 people were killed in Arkansas, and tornadoes caused further damage in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri. World Renew DRS Regional Managers Len and Carrie Blauwkamp are in touch with representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Arkansas. More bad weather is expected as the system travels east toward the Carolinas over the next few days.
“This is a very nasty storm system, and it’s not done yet,” said Mark Martin, World Renew DRS regional manager. He and his wife Carol monitor disasters for the organization in the central U.S. The Martins are currently focusing on Baxter Springs, Kansas, and Quapaw, Oklahoma, where nearly 100 homes and businesses were destroyed by one of Sunday’s tornadoes, and one person was killed.
“We are working with state and local agencies and other volunteer organizations in planning and organizing,” Carol said, “but right now search and rescue personnel are still going through the areas that were destroyed, along with initial damage assessment crews.”
A World Renew needs assessment team was also in Oklahoma City on Sunday. Team Leader Bruce De Boer reported today that “The current storm system has not had an impact on us—the skies over Oklahoma City are clear today.”
World Renew DRS staff and volunteers will continue to monitor the storm front as it moves across the eastern United States through mid-week, Adams says. “Our hearts are with those who were hit by this powerful storm system, and we pray that no one else will be harmed. God willing, World Renew DRS will be there to respond to those who need help the most,” Adams said.
Or make out your check to World Renew DRS and write “Spring Storms 2014” in the memo line.
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PHOTO: A man talks on his phone as he looks for his cat near an upturned in a suburban area following a tornado near Vilonia, Arkansas April 28, 2014. On a second day of ferocious storms that have claimed at least 19 lives in the southern United States, a tornado tore through the Mississippi town of Tupelo on Monday causing widespread destruction to homes and businesses, according to witnesses and local emergency officials. Most of the deaths from the violent storms occurred on Sunday when tornadoes tossed cars like toys in Arkansas and other states. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT)