Mississippi & Alabama Tornadoes
Update as of 3/29/23:
Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief chainsaw units are responding in Florence, AL.
Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief units are responding in West Point, GA.
Amory, MS – Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief (MS BDR) has established a command post, operating with assessor/chaplain teams and chainsaw units. As power is on in approximately 40% of the town with grocery and restaurant function, no mass feeding needs are identified. MS BDR remains on standby to ramp up for public feeding but are not expecting the demand to materialize. Due to the number of assistance groups currently operating, the estimate for the response has been adjusted from 6-8 weeks to 3-4 weeks of operations.
Rolling Fork, MS – Mississippi BDR and Arkansas BDR are operating a command post at First Baptist Church. Assessments are continuing but due to severity of damage, actual work sites may be less than originally thought. Many of the locations will be demolition rather than cleanup. With many different relief agencies and organizations operating in cleanup mode, transition will likely be made to demolition within 3-4 weeks. On Tuesday, in a feeding partnership with FBC Rolling Fork, Baptist Disaster Relief began providing 100 meals per day to affected residents who were relocated to hotels in Greenville, MS and 650 meals per day for direct feeding to survivors at the church. Alternative housing is the primary need as there is a significant shortage of undamaged housing in the area. Damage to Rolling Fork First Baptist Church includes roof/shingle damage affecting 90% of roofing on all three buildings, steeple destroyed, and facia/gutter damage.
Blackhawk/Coila and Winona, MS – Mississippi BDR is responding with nearby chainsaw units and assessors.
Silver City, MS – Mississippi BDR continues to monitor needs in this area. This will most likely be an area for demolition as the situation unfolds.
Hubert Yates, director of MS BDR, states, “At this point initial deployment needs are being met with MS and AR resources. There may be an opportunity to use additional out-of-state teams in the future rotations as the event unfolds, so please continue to stand by. Will update as we move forward.”
- 1. Pray for each community affected, the churches and their staffs, the DR volunteers as they respond and their DR leadership as they plan and lead.
- 2. Pray for Pastor Britt Williamson of Rolling Fork First Baptist, as his wife suffered a stroke last week prior to the storm and was discharged from the hospital the day after the storm. Additionally, Pastor Williamson has ongoing personal health issues, and most of his congregation has suffered significant loss.
- 3. Pray that God will be glorified as DR volunteers provide help, hope, and healing to those affected by the tornadoes.
Donations for Disaster Relief efforts can be made by clicking the button below. Financial donations are most helpful, as necessary equipment and supplies can be bought in bulk to ease transportation, handling, and storage logistics.
Churches, please remember that donated items should only be collected if you make an arrangement IN ADVANCE with someone in the affected area who is willing to receive and distribute the items, and you have a plan for transporting and unloading the items.