Heavy rains over the Memorial Day weekend have caused severe flooding in Maryland, affecting communities in Howard, Frederick, and Washington Counties. Some of the hardest hit places were Baltimore and Ellicott City. ACS Disaster Response leaders from the North American Division, Chesapeake, and Allegheny East Conferences are collaborating with each other and some of our partner organizations on the Recovery efforts in the impacted areas.
The Allegheny East Conference partnered with the Miracle SDA Church in conducting a needs-assessment of the areas close to the church which were affected. Various streets were closed and barriers had been erected near the church. W. Derrick Lea, NAD ACS DR Director, paid a visit to the Church and the affected community. The pastor of Miracle Church, Pr. David Franklin, explained all the damage that his neighborhood had sustained. They discussed what resources could be of help to the community and what role the church was prepared to play. They also visited a very large Baptist church that housed the Operations Center for the local Disaster. There were at least 25 people present from various organizations handling different tasks. Aid workers included personnel from ACS, the Red Cross, and Emergency Management.
The Chesapeake Conference is in contact with the Red Cross who is rendering Emotional & Spiritual Care to those affected in Washington and Frederick Counties. John Belliveau, the ACS DR Director for the Conference, is perusing a possible partnership in this effort that could incorporate our newly trained workers, as well. John and Derrick were able to connect with three other organizations that were interested in working with our DR Teams. John reached out to his newly trained Team and solicited credentialed individuals who could render service. In addition, he offered to shadow an experienced team on the ground and will ensure our members are used as appropriate in the coming days.
ACS Disaster Response is working hard to assist these communities with our Teams all over the region. As the work becomes more established, we will take advantage of additional resources that have been offered from Youth Ministries, which awaits our call for help. Many of our youth are willing to assist and as the need materializes we’ll engage them in activity towards the Recovery Efforts.