LCC Disaster Response Helps More Homeowners in Kentucky with Property Recovery after Devastating Tornadoes
FOURTH TEAM IN KENTUCKY THIS WEEK
The week after New Year’s, Kathy O’Day, LCC Director of Disaster Response, Jamie Miller, LCC Staff, and the third LCC Disaster Response team arrived at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Paducah, Kentucky, to work in surrounding tornado affected towns. They will be returning with a fourth team this week to continue to serve hard-hit communities.
Last week, the LCC Lutheran Early Response Teams (L.E.R.T.) volunteers worked in the hard-hit towns of Mayfield, Benton, Fulton, and Gilbertsville, Kentucky. Each of these communities were in the direct path of the EF-3 & EF-4, 270-mile long tornado which at times was 1-1/2 miles wide. The damage is devastating with many businesses, schools, and homes completely leveled or severely damaged. There are many uprooted trees everywhere, landing on property, homes, and cars. The team helped several families that will be displaced from their homes for some time as they are just beginning the long recovery process.
Helping Displaced Homeowner Remove Large Tree on Roof
Kathy and Jamie met one of these displaced families, Ms. J, at the hotel she has been staying at since the tornado had struck. A large tree had fallen through her roof and her home needs major repairs before she can move back. She asked if we could possibly help her. She did not have the funds to remove the large tree so she could begin roof and home repairs. She told the team how she took shelter in her home and didn’t think she would survive.
She also told us how very upsetting and disorienting it is to go back to her home as so much of her town of Mayfield and neighbors’ homes are totally destroyed. She and her parents couldn’t believe that we cut and removed the very large fallen tree and cleaned up all the debris in her yard at no cost to her.
LCC received the following thank you note from her parents:
Words cannot express our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for your disaster response to the tornado on December 10 in Mayfield, which resulted in the cutting and removal of a very large tree from our daughter’s home. Your team has certainly shown the compassion set forth to those in need. God Bless You!
Continuing to Serve Homeowner with Damaged Business on Property
The team returned to the property of Mr. H this week. He is a young man with a family who was in the process of building a home on his parent’s 55-acre ranch property. He is an excellent woodworker and has his own mill. The tornado destroyed his home, barns, tools, workshop, and vehicles. His mill was spared though but sits very near a creek. Many downed trees were now blocking the water flow of the creek and, with recent rains, was backing up onto his property, threatening his mill. We were able to clear much of the creek bed to open the flow of water again.
Mr. H sent this note of thanks to Brian Mead, Volunteer Site Coordinator:
I can’t thank you and the ones that came out in the freezing cold and snow enough. I know it may have seemed like why cut trees out in the middle of a field and in a creek. But it saved my mill with the heavy rain we got. I had over 10 feet of trees away from the edge of the creek before the tornado. Y’all saved my building from this rain, no doubt. I still have work to do, and shoring up the bank will be the first thing on my list.
If y’all weren’t here to help, I couldn’t have done it. From the bottom of my heart, thank all of you so much. Please let the crew know that their work was the only way I still have a mill now. Thank you, and God bless y’all!!!
This week’s team was able to assist 14 families to remove trees and dangerous damaged limbs from their structures and property utilizing chainsaws, bobcats, and a boom lift.
All of the homeowners were so thankful that the following LCC Disaster Response team volunteers had come from so far and were willing to work all day in the cold and snow to help them in their time of need:
Good Shepherd, Elgin – David Vollrath
Heartland, Normal – Tony Buchberger
Immanuel, Charleston – Gary and Karen Hanebrink
Immanuel, Shobonier – Fran Collier
Lord of Life, LaFox – Larry Zagorski
St. John, East Moline – Ken and Jan Hill
St. John, Wheaton – Marty Johnson, Dave Schlesselman, Rich Wren
St. John, Wilmette – Tom Morrison
St. John, Dillsboro – Steve Black, Ruth Weisbrod
The LCC Disaster Response Ministry never charges those we serve. Please donate to the LCC Disaster Response General Fund or LCC Equipment Maintenance & Fuel Expense Fund so that we may continue to show the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.
Please keep the church and the families affected by the tornadoes in your prayers, including all of the LCC Disaster Response volunteers and staff as we deploy to the hardest-hit areas of Kentucky to help during the long recovery process.