Title: Lutherans in Central Florida Stand By to Help After Deadly Storms ELCA NEWS SERVICE
February 2, 2007
Lutherans in Central Florida Stand By to Help After Deadly Storms 07-016-MRC
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Lutherans in Florida are standing by to respond after severe thunderstorms and tornadoes swept through central Florida, killing 19 people Feb. 2. The storms prompted Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to declare a state of emergency for Lady, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia countries, according to CNN.
According to James Wells, president and chief executive officer, Lutheran Services of Florida, Inc., Tampa, state officials have asked that no one enter the affected areas and "state officials have it under control." Lutheran Disaster Response coordinators remain on stand-by until search and recovery efforts are completed, he said, adding that about 700 homes across three or four counties in central Florida have been damaged and/or destroyed. There have been no reports of severe damage to ELCA church buildings as of Feb. 2.
Adam J. Bost, communication specialist, ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod, Tampa, said 13,000 homes were without power. "Churches that are in good condition have been asked to serve as locations for food and medical distribution, (and provide space for) emergency childcare and counseling from outside agencies," he said.
Some clean up has begun to allow emergency personnel to reach damaged areas, but "it is hard for anyone to see the full extent of the damage because it is hard to move around in those areas," said Bost.
Lutheran Disaster Response is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. - - - DOMESTIC DISASTERS:
Editors: When listing organizations receiving funds to aid survivors of major disasters inside the United States, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, please include: ELCA Domestic Disaster Response, P.O. Box 71764, Chicago, Illinois 60694-1764 Credit card gift line: 1-800-638-3522 Credit card gifts via Internet: http://www.ELCA.org/disaster/ddrgive
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