North American Disaster

Aug 15, 2016 by Kellie Scholma

Massive Flooding in Louisiana Expands World Renew’s Response

From Saturday to Sunday, state officials reported that six people died, and more than 20,000 people were rescued from their flooded homes and stranded vehicles. Louisiana’s governor stated yesterday that 10,000 people are being housed in shelters. The torrential rain is affecting eastern Baton Rouge and Denham Springs, Louisiana. At least 2,700 homes have been flooded in Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena Parish, and Tangipahoa Parish.

Jul 28, 2016 by Kellie Scholma

Flood Clean-up in West Virginia (Gallery)

This is a very mountainous area with many rivers running through the valleys. Water quickly rose upwards of 15–16 feet and receded 12 hours later. Thankfully, no lives were lost. It was, however, more than enough time for massive amounts of damage to be done on hundreds of homes.  World Renew Disaster Response Services volunteers spent two weeks helping flood survivors with the grueling and heartbreaking task of gutting their homes.

Jul 18, 2016 by Kellie Scholma

Fort McMurray Recovery to Take Time

World Renew DRS is connecting with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo in Alberta and its recovery committee as well as with the Canadian Red Cross to collaborate on recovery efforts. “There are a lot of variables that need to be covered before reconstruction can begin in Fort McMurray,” says Ryskamp. “These are things like toxic debris cleanup and then assessment questions regarding what to do with properties that people may not want to rebuild on. The residents and the local recovery committee are at the heart of the recovery, and we are here to support them.”

Jun 27, 2016 by Kellie Scholma

World Renew Responds to 1,000-year Flood in West Virginia

More than 40,000 residents were without power, and in Rowan County alone, at least 500 homes are severely damaged or destroyed. "Emergency personnel are calling this a 1,000-year flood," says Bonnie Wiersma, World Renew regional manager for West Virginia.  World Renew is seeking donations to support the recovery efforts.

Jun 21, 2016 by Kellie Scholma

Homecoming in Fort McMurray

Henry Visscher and Gary Duthler, volunteers with World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS), accompanied some of the residents into the disaster area. A few homeowners found that their houses were miraculously untouched, but most people could only stand at a distance and peer through a safety fence at the debris. Fire officials report that more then 1,500 homes were totally destroyed in Fort McMurray.

Jun 3, 2016 by Beth Degraff

More Floods Hit Texas, World Renew Responds

DRS regional managers are in several of the affected communities this month as residents start to recover, offering the organization’s services. This includes building estimating, needs assessments, clean up, and home repair and rebuilding. World Renew DRS is seeking financial donations to expand its current response to the flooding.

May 24, 2016 by Beth De Graff

Returning Home to Fort McMurray

The announcement is a first step on the long journey of recovery for residents who were forced to evacuate their homes during the first week of May 2016 when high winds fanned a wildfire that threatened the town. “There are still sporadic flare ups and fire outbreaks in the area,” Ryskamp said. “In some hot spots, houses have exploded. It’s just one of the reasons why residents are not allowed into the city yet: it is still not safe.”

May 16, 2016 by Beth De Graff

Fort McMurray Wildfire Update

The prime minister offered the displaced residents the full support of the federal government in recovering from the fire. More than 241,000 hectares (a half-million acres) of land have been burned to date, and half of Alberta’s oil sands industry in the region has been shut down since last week. 

Alberta Fires

A completed home in Fort McMurray, August 2017.

Update July 2017

Home repairs have begun in Fort McMurray, in partnership with Mennonite Disaster Services. Click here to learn more.

May 5, 2016 by Kellie Scholma

Prayers Requested for Families Affected by Fires in Alberta

A mandatory evacuation for the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta, population 80,000, is in effect as rampant wildfire continues to engulf everything in its path. The wildfire is consuming homes, businesses, and forests, but thankfully no injuries or deaths have been reported. Your prayers and generous donations are needed.

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