Early Spring Tornadoes

SC Baptist Disaster Relief has responded to two tornado outbreaks recently in our state. Both were small, localized responses. Both gave volunteers in different parts of the state the opportunity to serve the Lord by meeting needs of homeowners.

The Barnwell-Bamberg Association’s chainsaw unit cleans up after a tornado in the Allendale area.

Pickens County

Two confirmed tornadoes caused damage in Pickens County on Wednesday night, March 23. The stronger one was an EF2.  Chainsaw units from three associations activated to serve: the Pickens-Twelve Mile, Three Rivers, and Beaverdam units. James Littleton of Pickens served as assessor and Incident Commander to coordinate teams with jobs. The teams completed eight jobs and made 17 ministry contacts.

Allendale County (and the lower Midlands)

There were nine tornadoes on Tuesday, April 5 with the most damaging being the EF3 in Allendale County. Six chainsaw units responded over a period of two weeks: Allendale-Hampton Association, Barnwell-Bamberg Association, Harleyville First Baptist (Screven Association), Aiken Association, Pine Level Baptist (Savannah River Association), and the Midlands chainsaw unit based out of Trinity Baptist in Lexington. Rick Burkey of Wagener served as the Incident Commander for this response. The units completed 24 chainsaw jobs and tarped one roof. They made 42 ministry contacts and gave 14 Bibles to homeowners.

Both responses were done without setting up command post sites for housing and meals, as the teams were within reasonable commuting distance, for the most part. Several of the jobs were big enough to require more than one day of work, and nearly all jobs required heavy equipment such as a skid steer or man lift.

Praise the Lord for all the volunteers who served Christ in these tornado crises, and pray that their spiritual influence on the homeowners will bear fruit for God’s kingdom!