LCC Disaster Response Continues Serving in Selma, Alabama, for a Second Week to Help Families in Tornado Recovery Efforts
On Thursday, January 12, a strong storm system moved through four states with high winds, large hail, and a tornado outbreak, including thirty-eight powerful tornadoes, of which three were long-track EF-3 tornadoes with 110+ mph winds that caused major damage to homes, businesses, and schools.
There was a loss of nine lives in Alabama and Georgia from this storm. One EF-3 tornado was on the ground for 23 miles through Selma, Alabama. It affected one-third of the town. In Selma alone, 3,300 homes, businesses, schools, and churches were damaged or destroyed by the tornado.
Kathy O’Day, Director of Disaster Response and twenty-four LCC Lutheran Early Response Team (L.E.R.T.) staff and volunteer teams have been serving homeowners through Pastor Steve Washington at Trinity Lutheran Church in Selma, Alabama. In their first week, chainsaw volunteers have completed work at twenty-six sites. They will continue to serve in this hard-hit community until February 4 with the LCMS Southern District.
Rev. Chris Singer, LCC President & CEO, joined Rev. Ross Johnson, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) Director of Disaster Response, and Rev. Ed Brashier, LCMS Southern District Disaster Response Coordinator, to visit affected homeowners and see the L.E.R.T. volunteers in action.
While Chris was visiting with the homeowner, Tina shared that many groups have stopped by to assess her property damage, but no one has returned to help. When LCC showed up with a boom lift and other heavy equipment, Tina said, “I can’t believe it – you came back to help!” She was so grateful that LCC L.E.R.T. kept their promise to remove the large tree that had fallen on her house.
Sheltered in Their Hallway, 95-Year-Old Couple Shares “We Never Want to Go through this Again!”
Larry and Polly are both 95 years old and live in a more rural area of Selma. They have a very large garden that Larry cares for. They had to shelter in their hallway as the tornado passed over them. They told us they could hear part of their metal roof being peeled back, glass breaking and trees cracking.
Larry said he watched a neighbor’s roof fly through the air. They were very scared they would not survive but compared to the destroyed homes just a block over from them, they know God was good and spared them. They both stated, “I never want to go through this again!”
We were able to clear the fallen trees and debris that fell on and around Larry's garden and around his shed. They loved the quilt presented to them by a L.E.R.T. member.
Homeowner Helps L.E.R.T. Team Clear His Property
Couple with Historic Home Blessed by L.E.R.T. Volunteers
LCC never goes where we are not invited.