Widespread devastation stretching Southern Baptist Disaster Relief thin

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams are spread far and wide in the path of Hurricane Ida's destruction.
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams are spread far and wide in the path of Hurricane Ida’s destruction.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (BP) – Kenton Hunt, disaster relief director of the Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania/South Jersey, expresses a heartfelt burden to help the hundreds of homeowners in his region trying to recover from flooding and tornadoes wrought by Hurricane Ida.

“It’s hard to find enough help to work with, and most of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief was concentrated on Louisiana, because that’s where Ida hit first and did the most damage,” Hunt said. “So now here we are way up on the upper edge of where Ida went off shore and finally petered out, but dropped a lot of rain, as much as 10 inches in some places. … That’s a lot of water to handle in one storm. … I’ve had to ask for help because it’s so much bigger than we can do ourselves.”

Seven state conventions are helping with flood cleanup including chainsaw work, feeding, chaplaincy and assessment in three Pennsylvania counties Hunt serves, but Hunt said the widespread need for help has stretched volunteers thin. And he’s not aware of another relief organization currently in the area to help homeowners clean up from the storm.

“We are not going to meet all the needs. … But everybody’s leaning on us, and we’re a small state convention. I’m feeling the weight of it,” Hunt said. “I feel responsible to do everything we can to meet the needs of the people … that truly need assistance to clean up, to remove the trees that they cannot do themselves or cannot pay someone else to do. Or to clean up their home, to get it where it’s safe and sanitary to live in again, and remove debris that’s just holding the water and getting rid of mold and other contaminants in the home that make the house unsafe.

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Source: Baptist Press