Disaster ministry cancels Nebraska flood response, monitors needs after Derecho and earthquake

Church of the Brethren Newsline
August 22, 2020

Image courtesy of the National Weather Service. A radar time-lapse image of the Derecho that hit the Midwest on Aug. 11, 2020.

By Jenn Dorsch Messler

Brethren Disaster Ministries has cancelled a short-term response to flooding in Nebraska, that was to take place in late August, and is monitoring needs following the Derecho that hit Iowa and Illinois and the earthquake that struck North Carolina earlier this month.

Nebraska flooding response canceled

The Brethren Disaster Ministries short-term response in Nebraska scheduled for Aug. 16-29 has been cancelled due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the Omaha area the week prior to the start date. Staff will explore future opportunities to reschedule this response to the flooding that took place in 2019.

Derecho response

Relief and clean-up efforts are still very active following the Derecho that hit Iowa and Illinois on Aug. 11. A Derecho is described by the National Weather Service as a widespread, long-lived windstorm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. This event is estimated to have traveled almost 800 miles in 14 hours, leaving significant damage and debris from winds topping 100 miles per hour. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds reported that thousands of people are still without power, as many as 8,200 homes have been destroyed or damaged, and about a third of the state’s agriculture acreage has been affected.

Northern Plains District disaster coordinator Matt Kuecker and others in the district have been doing some clean up in their communities. They are looking to schedule additional opportunities at the beginning of September to support families that were affected.

North Carolina earthquake

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck near Sparta, N.C., on Aug. 9. There were reports of more than 500 businesses and homes with structural damage, and at least 20 homes have been condemned. Brethren Disaster Ministries has been in communication with pastor Tim Sizemore at Peak Creek Church of the Brethren, whose congregation has been active in responding by supporting families in the community.

— Jenn Dorsch Messler is the director of Brethren Disaster Ministries. Find out more about the ministry at www.brethren.org/bdm .

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