Florence Update: Chaplains Deploy to Myrtle Beach

By   •   October 3, 2018

man paddling
Billy Graham chaplains are headed to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to minister to those in Horry County. The region has faced heavy flooding as a result of Hurricane Florence, with entire neighborhoods underwater.

After Hurricane Florence made landfall on the East Coast, many communities thought they could breathe a sigh of relief—they had been spared from the brunt of the storm with only minor damage.

But not quite.

After Florence dumped a massive amount of rain across the Carolinas, the storm’s lingering effects continued. Numerous lakes and rivers crested from the excessive rainfall, flooding out homes that had originally survived the hurricane.

In response, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) has deployed alongside Samaritan’s Purse to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and will be serving in the Horry County area. Ten crisis-trained chaplains will provide emotional and spiritual care to those affected by Florence.

This is the RRT’s fourth deployment triggered by Hurricane Florence. Crisis-trained chaplains are also currently serving in Wilmington, New Bern, and Jacksonville, North Carolina.

>> Watch how Billy Graham chaplains are ministering to the community of Jacksonville.

“We’re seeing lots and lots of sandbags,” Annette Poff said as she and her husband, Bob, crossed a bridge over the Waccamaw River on the way to the Myrtle Beach deployment site. They’re both chaplain coordinators.

No stranger to storms, Horry County is still recovering from Hurricane Matthew two years ago. Officials warned the community that flooding from Florence would match or exceed that of the previous storm—and it did.

Some areas received 20-30 inches of rainfall over the past couple of weeks and flooded more than 100 roads.

According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, an estimated 1,500 homes have been damaged and another 55 homes destroyed by Florence in the Palmetto State.

As some residents relive the same nightmare they faced in 2016, chaplains will offer prayer and a listening ear.

Bob and Annette are asking others to join in praying for the Myrtle Beach region and for residents to “[have] wisdom for the future and draw closer to God through this.”

Please continue to keep all those affected by Florence in your prayers.

You can trust God in the midst of life’s storms. Start a relationship with Him today.