Brethren Disaster Ministries carries out short-term flood response in Nebraska

Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed a grant of $7,500 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to fund a two-week response in King’s Lake, Neb., following spring flooding in 2019.

COVID-19 rates in the King’s Lake area prevented a planned response from taking place in August 2020. A rescheduled response is taking place now, starting Oct. 3 and continuing through Oct. 16.

There are 10-12 volunteers and leaders scheduled to serve each week, with most coming from the Midwest districts of the Church of the Brethren. A tool trailer is provided by Northern Plains District. Volunteer housing is at the Presbyterian Church of the Cross in Omaha.

During the first week, the volunteers worked on stabilizing a house and repairing the roof on another house. Jill Borgelt, interim volunteer coordinator for the Douglas County Long Term Recovery Group, remarked, “It’s a great team and they’re accomplishing a lot, more than we would have hoped for!”

In early 2019, Nebraska suffered record-breaking damage from severe winter weather, straight-line winds, and devasting flooding, said the grant request. “Record snowfall had accumulated across the state between January and March, with historic cold temperatures persisting in February. This resulted in the major river systems in Nebraska remaining covered by ice and snow when rapid temperature changes caused accelerated thawing to occur in March. Following these events, 84 of Nebraska’s 93 counties, as well as 4 tribal areas received federal disaster declarations, with the worst damage happening in the eastern part of the state. Over 2,000 homes and 340 businesses were damaged or destroyed at a value of over $85 million.”

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Photos of the short-term Brethren Disaster Ministries project in Nebraska by Patricia Challenger


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