Areas across the Southeast woke up March 3 to the devastation caused by severe storms and tornadoes. The Weather Service logged at least three dozen tornado reports Sunday as twisters swept across Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, but none were as severe as those in Lee County, Ala., where at least 24 persons were killed.
"Our hearts hurt, and we grieve with those affected," said Bishop Lawson Bryan. "I have contacted Bishop David Graves, of the Alabama-West Florida Conference, to express our grief and our desire to be supportive in every way we can."
In the South Georgia area, initial reports showed major damage in the counties of Grady, Harris, and Talbot Counties. Governor Brian Kemp declared a State of Emergency for these three counties to deploy state assistance in the wake of severe thunderstorms, excessive precipitation, and tornadoes in those areas.
As of today, GEMA notified the State VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters) that Talbot, in addition to needing skilled chainsaw volunteers, is also seeking general/unskilled volunteers and groups on Saturday, March 9 to help with debris removal. Click here for details.
Luis Morales, Conference Disaster Coordinator, activated ERT teams to travel into Cairo, Georgia this weekend to help with clean-up efforts. The damage in Cairo is in a contained area around Cairo FUMC and needs will continue to be assessed. Allison Lindsey spent time in the community yesterday walking the neighborhood with Pastor Christy Bandy. Watch video from Cairo.
Jim Cantore, meteorologist and on-air weather personality for The Weather Channel, will be the keynote speaker on April 27, 2019 at Cordele FUMC. The Conference Outreach and Missions Team is organizing this event to help individuals and congregations be prepared before, during and after a catastrophic event and explore tangible ways to be a witness in their communities and beyond. Click here for details and to register.
The Conference Outreach Team is sponsoring and coordinating a mission experience to Sager Brown, the UMCOR Depot in Baldwin, Louisiana, September 29 - October 4, 2019. There are 10 spots available with the possibility of increasing based on interest. Spots will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Click here for more information.
The South Georgia Conference welcomes Sherry Buresh to the staff in the Office of Connectional Ministries. Sherry joins the staff in the role of Disaster Recovery Coordinator: Hurricane Michael. She will be working specifically in the Southwest District coordinating long term recovery efforts for those impacted by Hurricane Michael. This position is a one year recovery project and is funded through the connection by an UMCOR grant. She brings over 15 years of disaster response experience and looks forward to meeting pastors and community leaders to explore unmet needs and collaborating with other ministries to help restore these communities. Sherry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 478-273-0773.