LOUISVILLE—Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief is answering a call for help by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder requesting aid for residents struggling to get their homes back in order after floods in April. More than a dozen Kentucky Baptists are expected to leave May 15 for Paris, Mich.—joining recovery and clean-up efforts all along the Muskegon River.
“The severe weather and flooding that affected our communities last month has taken a toll on our homes, businesses and public roads and buildings,” Snyder said. “We are looking at all options to assist with the recovery and rebuild our communities.”
Gov. Snyder issued disaster declarations for six additional Michigan counties on May 7—including Mecosta County where Paris is located—bringing the total number to eight. Heavy rainfall on April 12 combined with existing snow caused widespread flooding throughout the Lower Peninsula.
Coy Webb, Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief Director, said two teams of 17 volunteers have committed to spending the next 7-10 days helping Paris residents remove mud and debris from their homes. Unit leaders assigned to the teams are Dave Hampton, of London, and George Shanks, of California.
“If we could get four or five more it would strengthen our teams, or we may even be able to make a third team and handle more jobs,” Webb said.
Michigan Baptist Disaster Relief Director Winn Williams said Tuesday afternoon only 14 jobs remained, but that time is not on the side of his volunteer workforce.
“We cannot get to them fast enough,” Williams said, “The mold is growing much too quickly in this humidity.”
Kentucky teams scheduled to leave tomorrow will be based at Charity Baptist Church in Paris. Williams said his convention is working in partnership with the Salvation Army to feed volunteers. Shower and laundry units also are on site.
“With Kentucky’s help, we’ll get this cleaned up by next week,” Williams said. “We appreciate our partners in the region coming to help.”
Interested in becoming a Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief volunteer? The next opportunity for training will be in Glasgow on Sept. 19-20 at Calvary Baptist Church, 307 Columbia Ave.