Severe weather has swept across the American midwest in recent weeks. Flooding has devastated communities in northern Indiana and nearby parts of Michigan; Indiana declared a state of emergency for 22 counties. CNN reports that flash flood warnings or states of emergency have been issued in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana, Missouri and Ohio. Flooding is also anticipated in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Cincinnati is facing its highest floodwaters since 1997.
The death toll from spring storms across the midwest – which include both flooding and tornadoes – is at least five, reports Time. Further dangerous weather is expected in the coming days and weeks in some places. In others, floodwaters are beginning to recede and the recovery process is beginning.
Our team has responded to floods in Indiana and Michigan by providing CWS Blankets, Emergency Cleanup Buckets and Hygiene Kits. So far, 950 buckets, 275 kits and 240 blankets have been distributed to Grace Community Church, Marshall County Neighborhood Center, Neighbor to Neighbor and American Red Cross for Elkhart County. CWS continues to be in touch with other responding organizations in the area and is prepared to provide further supplies as requested.
An additional shipment of 275 CWS Hygiene Kits, 180 Emergency Cleanup Buckets and 125 Blankets went to Sisters of Hope Community Outreach and Disaster Program in Prestonburg, Kentucky. This part of the state has been affected by flooding.
CWS Emergency Response Specialists are continuing to check in with partners and local organizations in affected areas and assess the situation. Further information will be made available as these conversations continue and a potential further response unfolds.
How to Help
Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts in the United States and around the world may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. Donations may also be made online.
CWS maintains a stock of the supplies that are distributed following an emergency. More than 2,000 kits, buckets and blankets have been involved in this response to date, and we anticipate further requests. Help replenish our stock by assembling and dropping off or shipping kits. Get started: cwskits.org.