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Ga. flooding activates disaster relief teams

ATLANTA (BP)–Michael Dover surveys the damage outside his home in Austell, Ga., his backyard a sea of muddy water. Looking at remnants of the water-soaked wood from his workshop piled in his driveway, Dover, like many other Atlanta-area residents, now faces the harsh reality of clean up.

Floodwater that has covered parts of metro Atlanta continue to recede, and now the real work begins. As homeowners, schools and business begin the process of cleaning the mud out of their homes and ripping out soaked drywall, Southern Baptists will be right there alongside them.

Historic flooding, after a two-year drought, caused tremendous damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure in north Georgia. After several days of steady rain, the ground was saturated from Alabama through Georgia into eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. Torrents on Sept. 21 clogged Atlanta’s Monday morning commute. By mid-afternoon, school buses had to return students to schools because of impassable roads. Parents were beckoned by school officials to retrieve their children. Rainfall amounts for that day alone, according to the National Weather Service, ranged from 9 to 12 inches in western areas of metro Atlanta. Ten deaths have been reported, with some people still unaccounted for.

In Austell, about 15 miles west of downtown Atlanta, Sweetwater Creek overflowed its banks submerging entire neighborhoods in murky water. It is estimated that 50 percent of homes in Austell have flood damage, with an overall total of 50,000 flooded homes in metro Atlanta.

Georgia Baptist Convention disaster relief units responded as early as Tuesday (Sept. 22) with feeding units. Its mudout units also have been activated.

“Our immediate goal is to get people back in their homes as soon as possible,” said Stuart Lang, disaster relief coordinator for the Georgia convention. “Prayer is absolutely vital to the effort right now as we assess the damages and needs in various areas that have been affected.”

The North American Mission Board’s Disaster Relief Operation Center will open Saturday morning, Sept. 26, to serve as a call center for victims needing assistance. Volunteers will collect, package and pass work orders to the Incident Command Team and the recovery units. NAMB’s DR team has alerted surrounding states of the need of mudout and feeding units. A Tennessee Baptist Convention unit is preparing meals for flood victims in Chattanooga, just north of the Georgia border.

“We’re working with Georgia Baptists to identify sites and pockets of need across north Georgia,” said Mickey Caison, NAMB’s team leader for adult volunteer mobilization. “Once again Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers are stepping up to provide effective disaster response in cooperation with our state partners.” Assisting NAMB and the Georgia convention with need assessment is a team from Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.

This will be a long-term effort, Lang said. “There will be multiple opportunities for volunteers to assist in the future.”

Following are a list of locations and units involved in disaster assistance.
Georgia Operation Center:
FBC Trion
95 Church St.
Trion, GA 30753
Lodging for volunteers:
FBC Summerville
125 Georgia Ave.
Summerville, GA 30747
Units deployed to this location:
Georgia feeding unit
Georgia mudout
Georgia Operation Center:
Ebenezer Baptist Church
49 Rose Lane
Toccoa, GA 30577
Lodging for volunteers:
Georgia Baptist Conference Center
462 Sonrise Way
Toccoa, GA 30577
Units deployed to this location:
Georgia Mudout
Georgia Operation Center:
FBC Austell
5991 Love St.
Austell, GA 30168
Units deploying to this location:
Georgia feeding unit
Georgia mudout
Operation Center:
FBC Powder Springs
4330 North Ave.
Powder Springs, GA 30127
Units deploying to this location:
Georgia feeding unit
Georgia mudout
NAMB Mobile Operation Post:
Crossroads Church
5960 Stewart Pkwy.
Douglasville, GA 30135
Units deploying to this location:
Alabama CUR teams
Georgia feeding
Georgia communications
NAMB Disaster Operations Center:
4200 North Point Pkwy.
Alpharetta, GA 30022

Monetary donations designated for disaster relief can be forwarded to the Georgia Baptist Convention at 6405 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Duluth, GA 30097.
Carol Pipes is editor of On Mission magazine and publications coordinator for the North American Mission Board.

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  • Carol Pipes

    Carol Pipes is director of corporate communications for LifeWay Christian Resources.

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