LCC Disaster Response Deploying to Florida this Weekend to Help Assess Homeowner Property Damage and Assist with Recovery From Hurricane Ian
Working with LCMS Florida-Georgia District Disaster Response Coordinators to Help Impacted Churches, Individuals and Families in Hardest-Hit Areas with Recovery Efforts
Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful storms ever to strike the US mainland, battered southwest Florida with high winds, rain, and storm surges as it moved inland. The death toll reported is now more than 100 as search and rescue teams continue to go door to door throughout impacted communities.
As the storm swept ashore in southwest Florida last week, it raged across the state with catastrophic 150 mph winds and a deadly storm surge of up to 18 feet. Estimated to be about 140 miles wide, it downgraded from a high category 4 hurricane to a tropical storm as it moved slowly northeast, causing vast destruction and major flooding.
Lutheran Church Charities Disaster Response Director Kathy O'Day and Ed Boerman, Northern Illinois District Disaster Response Coordinators, have been collaborating with the LCMS Disaster Response and District Disaster Response Coordinators Joel Mathews and Jay Wendland from the Florida-Georgia District.
Rev. Ross Johnson, Director, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) Disaster Response, and Jay Wendland have asked Kathy O'Day, Ed Boerman, and L.E.R.T. team leader Marty Johnson to be in Florida this week to be part of the assessment team.
Approximately twenty-six LCC L.E.R.T. volunteers will begin serving out of Lakeside Lutheran Church in Venice, Florida, which is located 30 minutes from Englewood and Port Charlotte. Pastor David Dahlke has graciously welcomed our team to stay at Lakeside Lutheran. Brenda Gustafson, Church Administrator shared, “We are an older congregation and cannot get out into the community, so we are thrilled to serve you so that you can be the hands and feet of Jesus in our communities.”
LCC L.E.R.T. volunteers will begin arriving in Florida on Sunday, October 9, and will be serving in our designated communities until the end of October.
LCMS Disaster Response has asked us to begin our work with two heavily damaged churches, Trinity Lutheran of Southwest in Port Charlotte and Redeemer Lutheran Church & School in Englewood, and remove downed trees at our host church Lakeside Lutheran. All three congregations also have several staff and congregation members who have property damage. In addition, we will serve affected residents as requested in these communities.
LCC L.E.R.T. volunteers will provide chainsaw, heavy equipment, and boom lift assistance, and some mucking and gutting of a flooded church sanctuary. Our teams will also provide spiritual and emotional care as many people took shelter in their homes and endured horrific conditions while the hurricane passed through their cities. Residents are overwhelmed with the devastation and need the reassurance and hope found in Jesus Christ.
LCC never goes where we are not invited.