UMCOR Ready to Help in Mississippi
April 26, 2010—The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is preparing to send emergency funds to Mississippi, where tornadoes rammed through 13 counties on Saturday, killing 10 and injuring dozens of residents.
“Our hearts and prayers are with the people of Mississippi as they respond to these tornadoes and loss of life,” said Rev. Tom Hazelwood, UMCOR executive for domestic disaster response.
Of the tornadoes that touched down across Mississippi this weekend, a particularly destructive storm cut a swath nearly a mile wide and traveled 150 miles, according to news reports. In its path it ripped through homes, tore off roofs, and snapped power lines and trees. Hillcrest Baptist Church was leveled.
“We pray for those who have lost loved ones in the storms, for all who have lost their homes and possessions, for all whose livelihood is impacted by loss of businesses, and for all who will be helping in the recovery and rebuilding efforts across Mississippi,” wrote Bishop Hope Morgan Ward in an ePistle on Sunday.
Yazoo and Choctaw counties suffered the most severe damage; five of the 10 deaths in Mississippi occurred in Choctaw, including those of three children. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency reports nearly 600 homes were damaged or destroyed in seven of the affected counties.
Saturday’s storms have been called the worst natural disaster to hit the region since Hurricane Katrina hurtled through it on five years ago.
Tornadoes also rushed through Arkansas, South Carolina and Alabama. Two deaths in Alabama were blamed on the storms.
Just as in the case of Hurricane Katrina, Hazelwood said, “UMCOR is always standing ready to help Annual Conferences in their time of need.”
Please pray for those who have suffered losses in these first storms of the spring storm season. Help UMCOR respond with a gift to UMCOR Domestic Disaster Response, Advance #901670.