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Collierville (Tenn.) UMC's disaster response team assists Gulf recovery

By Bill Bice
Collierville Appeal (Tenn.)
October 19, 2005

Members of the United Methodist Church Disaster Response Team from Collierville United Methodist Church recently spent a week in Ocean Springs, Miss. The group worked on cutting downed trees and limbs and removing wallboard and debris from houses that had been flooded as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

The work was done to eliminate the progress of black mold in the houses and to allow the homeowners to start the rebuilding process. Every day that a house sits without reconstructive effort is a day that the black mold advances through the house. There comes a point, which cannot be defined at the moment, when the mold will so overtake the structure that total demolition becomes the only alternative. Currently the work order requests exceed 700 and are continually growing.

Members of the United Methodist Church Disaster Response Team from Collierville UMC are (from left) Rhonda Morton, Susan Tucker, Bill Bice, Bob Dow and Mark Sweet. Not pictured is L. C. Averill, who joined the team onsite.

While there, the group was housed in a "tent city" on the campus of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Ocean Springs. St. Paul's has become a focal point for distribution of donated goods and work sites for the volunteer teams. Presently, teams from Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Maine, Maryland, Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Georgia are being housed at this location. Because of space limitations it has become necessary for teams desiring to go to this area to make reservations and get an update on the prevailing situation.

Copyright, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN. Used with permission.