GREENBRIAR COUNTY, W.Va. (BP) — Heavy rains on June 23 brought historic flooding to West Virginia, claiming at least 24 lives and 100 homes. Search and rescue continued June 26, where state and federal officials declared disaster areas.
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) leaders and volunteers have been working in the wake of the storm to aid survivors and comfort those facing the loss of family and loved ones. Several state SBDR units were mobilized June 25.
“The strength of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is our people,” said David Melber, vice president of Send Relief for the North American Mission Board (NAMB). “State SBDR leadership, local volunteers and church members, as they always do, were among the first to respond to the needs of the people in West Virginia.”
Sixteen people died in Greenbrier County, at least 15 of them in the town of Rainelle, according to the Associated Press. Greenbrier is the only county where people were believed to still be missing Sunday.
NAMB’s SBDR executive director Mickey Caison reported that the coordination of aid and volunteers began before the rain stopped. Long-term recovery will follow the immediate disaster response, Caison said, noting that the incident command center, feeding and flood recovery operations for the response will be located in the Lewisburg, West Virginia, area.
The Alabama Baptist will continue coverage on SBDR work being done in West Virginia. For the full story, see the July 14 issue.