by Don Remick
This past weekend a winter storm ('Riley' by name) exploded into a hurricane force Nor'Easter. Wind recordings topped out at nearly 100 MPH in some areas. That wind drove tidal surges accompanied by flooding rains to heights rivaling the most historic of storms in recorded history. (Yes, we are in that new norm of storms that come with 'Greater Frequency and Greater Intensity'.)
Many folks ended up without power for days. In fact, at the time of this writing, nearly 75,000 are still without power on day 3 following the storm. Reports of damage are still coming in as power is restored and people can get around to assess the impact. And you have likely seen some of the images and heard some of the stories.
I want to say how impressed I am with our clergy and churches. They have been responsive and resilient. Some have offered their churches as heating stations and places to get warm and charge your cell phone. Some held services by candlelight for those who could safely get out. Some cancelled plans to keep folks safe at home. Many have reached out to their community to assist in response and support efforts.
Your Conference staff and your DRRT (Disaster Response and Resource Team) is in the process of reaching out to our churches within the impact zone to assess any needs they may have. We are also connecting with National UCC's Disaster Ministries staff. And we are in contact with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and MAVOAD (Massachusetts Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters) to connect around assessment and response.
Rev. Estelle Margarones, one of our MACUCC DRRT Conference Disaster Coordinators, compiled a list of resources, even in the midst of her own recovery work in her community. (Estelle serves our church in Scituate, which is one of the more deeply impacted towns). You may find some of the information below to be helpful for this storm and for those that may be on the horizon.
Please let us know if you or your church of community have any needs.
Stay safe in the storms.
Associate Conference Minister
Disaster Resource and Response Team
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