Flooding in SE Washington and NE Oregon

February 10, 2020
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Update – February 18, 2020

Here is a sampling of how ACS and other Adventist volunteer groups are getting involved in the Recovery Efforts. Especially hard hit were areas in Pendleton, Walla Walla, and outlying parts of Umatilla County.

  • Center for Humanitarian Engagement (CHE), led by David Lopez, gathered volunteers to work on two Relief projects this weekend. Eighty Walla Walla University students filled over 30,000 bags of sand. Click here for photos. They also have been helping to find volunteers to staff an assessment call center at the Emergency Management Department. Click here for latest newsletter by CHE on the flooding response.
  • Walla Walla Valley Academy with less time and students filled over 8,000 bags of sand.
  • Individual members sheltered evacuees.
  • SonBridge Center, in College Place, was on a one-hour alert for providing shelter for evacuees. They were willing in spite of the fact that the next morning was the yearly constituency meeting.
  • From Sabbath through Wednesday last week, ACS volunteers including lots of young people fixed meals for evacuees staying at the Red Cross shelter in Walla Walla.
  • A young private business owner from Coeur d’Alene, Albert Rorabeck, happily shared one full day and his big truck to drive the ACS DR trailer filled with flood buckets and supplies needed to man a donations warehouse to Walla Walla Fairgrounds first, and then on to Pendleton Convention Center. This activity was coordinated by Larry Marsh, who recently retired as Vice President for Education at Upper Columbia Conference.
  • With short notice a MARC (Multi-Agency Response Center) was planned for Thursday in Pendleton. Linda & Phil Ruud, Shawn Ruud, and Pastor Gibson have played key roles in the Pendleton area for planning the ACS response. Adventist Community Services provided a booth that included free flood buckets filled with what items needed in cleanup.
  • In addition, ACS was asked to provide an Emotional and Spiritual Care team coordinated by Dan Solis, Gary Gibson, Jeff Kinne, and Mike Lambert.
  • On Friday, a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) was set up in the Walla Walla area.
  • As of Friday afternoon with new furniture, refrigerators, clothing, and other items being trucked into Pendleton as gift to the survivors, final negotiations were in process for ACS to open a Donations Management Warehouse.

Last Spring, many Pathfinders under the direction of UCC Pathfinder Coordinator, Richie Brower, filled around 150 flood buckets. Almost a third of the buckets were delivered then to three different Native American communities in Eastern Washington that experienced flooding. The remaining flood buckets which were stored for almost a year are being loaded with supplies to assist with this disaster relief. Early Wednesday morning a call came from the Senior Red Cross Manager to UCC ACS/ACSDR Director Patty Marsh, “Do you by chance have flood buckets? We are in great need here for evacuees at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds?” With excitement Patty was able to tell the Manager that the flood buckets were a little over an hour out. “Through the combined efforts of many, these buckets were one more way Adventists can share with a hurting world. We care…,” stated Patty.

A special thank you goes to Patty Marsh; Doug Venn, UCC ACSDR Coordinator; David Lopez, WWU Center for Humanitarian Engagement; Norman Thiel, SonBridge Director; Larry Mays, NPUC DR Coordinator; and Byron Dulan, NPUC ACS Director, who have been working tirelessly to pinpoint how best ACS and volunteers can bring the greatest support to these individuals and communities.

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