N.C. Baptist disaster relief volunteers began assisting residents of eastern Kentucky this week following severe floods that killed more than three dozen people and swept away homes.
Volunteers with Baptists on Mission arrived in the region on Sunday and set up a recovery site at Allen Baptist Church in Prestonsburg, Ky. Additional volunteers arrived on Monday and began making initial damage assessments and assisting residents in affected areas on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“From what our assessors are telling me, it’s pretty bad,” said site coordinator Mark Hinson, a longtime disaster relief volunteer from Monroe, N.C.
The death toll from the flooding remained at 37 on Wednesday, although Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said he still expected that number to rise in the coming days.
Hundreds of people remain displaced from their homes by catastrophic flooding brought about by heavy rain last week.
Hinson said he’s heard reports of homes being washed off their foundations and of people sleeping in their cars because they can’t reach their houses due to washed out roads or driveways.
Ongoing rain earlier this week hindered initial cleanup and recovery in the region, but relief efforts got underway as flood waters receded.
Baptists on Mission have had recovery teams out working to remove mud and tear out wet flooring, drywall, insulation and other debris from a handful of homes so far.
“We’re here to pass on a blessing and help restore hope to them,” Hinson said. “We feel so blessed to be able to help somebody, and it’s all because of Jesus Christ.”
Hinson said three flood victims have placed their faith in Christ through interactions with N.C. Baptist volunteers over the last two days.
“That’s well worth it,” Hinson said.
N.C. Baptists are among disaster relief volunteers from seven different state conventions who are working with Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief to serve and minister to flood victims.
Hinson said Baptists on Mission’s work in Kentucky is just getting started and encouraged other N.C. Baptists to come serve.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Chad Austin serves as the managing editor of the Biblical Recorder.)