More than 20 people were killed in eastern North Carolina, with more than 100 injured and tens of millions of dollars in damage, according to news reports.
“We work all over the world responding to disasters but sometimes some of the most difficult places are within a few miles of home,” said Franklin Graham, president of BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse. “Our prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones and those affected by the storm. We’ll be doing all we can to help.”
The RRT chaplains will be working in and around the areas of Raleigh, Fayetteville, Sanford and Windsor, N.C. Windsor is the county seat of the devastated Bertie County. This marks the second deployment to Windsor in seven months, following a deployment last October after floods from Tropical Storm Nicole swamped the town of 3,000.
“All of us have been stunned at how quickly homes, possessions, businesses – and most tragically, precious lives – have been lost. In the blink of an eye, so many people have been plunged into grief and crisis,” said Preston Parrish, executive vice president of ministry at BGEA. “Our hearts ache with the victims of this storm right here in our home state, and we are working to come alongside them with the hope and comfort of Christ.”
Luther Harrison, director of North American Projects for Samaritan’s Purse, is on the ground and reports seeing incredible scenes of devastation and destruction.
“When you see two people picking up debris in a yard where you cannot even recognize there was a home, but in the middle of some rubble is a motorized wheelchair and the owner had been found deceased in a ditch, how can you not have pity on them and want to reach out and help them?” he said. “Everyone we meet shares their experience.”
The North Carolina Division of Emergency Management on Sunday reported 22 people were killed and 80 were injured by the storms in Bertie, Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Lee, and Wake counties. According to news reports, a series of violent tornadoes roared through the city of Raleigh and across the heart of North Carolina Saturday afternoon and evening. The storms leveled or damaged hundreds of homes, demolished a trailer park, plucked trees out of the earth, and left more than 84,000 people without power.
North Carolina normally gets about 19 tornadoes a year, according to the National Climatic Data Center. This storm spun off at least 62 tornadoes Saturday night.
Be the Hands and Feet of Christ
As the RRT ministers in North Carolina, we appreciate your help with this and other outreach efforts. Please give today to help hurting people at home and around the world.