LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) - Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief workers will deploy Sunday to respond to residents of the Carolinas dealing with the devastation left by Hurricane Florence and its howling 90 mph winds and mammoth storm surges and drenching rains.
Hurricane Florence arrived with a vengeance early Friday with destructive wind gusts and terrifying storm surges. It knocked down buildings and trapped hundreds of people in high water and looks to be a storm that has a long and destructive life.
Kentucky Disaster Relief teams will deploy the mobile kitchen, shower trailer, chaplain teams, feeding teams and damage assessment teams to North Carolina’s damaged sites early Sunday morning, Kentucky Disaster Relief Director Coy Webb said.
Several team leaders were organizing crews earlier in the week expecting the call to come, Webb said.
Forecasters said the biggest fear was not the wind but the water: the storm surge along the coastline and the prospect of 1 to 3 1/2 feet of rain over the next several days could cause major flooding well inland. The winds had weakened to 75 mph, barely qualifying as a hurricane and well below the estimates of 140 mph predicted earlier in the week. But the hurricane had slowed down as it traced the North Carolina-South Carolina shoreline, dumping heavy rain on coastal communities for hours.
Webb said for those that can’t go or that haven’t been trained “the best thing to do is to pray and give.”
The storm is expected to be one of the most significant to hit the Carolinas in recent memory.
“We should be praying for the people that will lose their homes and even, possibly, family members,” Webb said. “Ask God to help them remember they’re not alone.”
He said the best way to help people after a disaster is through financial donations.
“Often people want to give to those affected by disaster. When we give clothing or other items, it’s often not what’s needed most at the time of crisis,” he said. “Giving money allows people to purchase exactly what they need at that moment and it also protects their sense of dignity as they are able to purchase items for themselves at a time when they feel very vulnerable.”
The storm continues to bring torrential rain, wind storms and flooding that will likely last throughout the weekend.
The Kentucky Baptist Convention has set up a webpage to help get financial contributions to those in need as soon as the storm passes. Go to www.kybaptist.org/relief to learn how you can pray for and give to those affected by the hurricane.