'Cleaning buckets' delivered to flooded areas in SW Virginia

'Cleaning buckets' delivered to flooded areas in SW Virginia


Replacement buckets requested by Holston disaster response

ALCOA, Tenn. (Feb. 14, 2018) --- Holston disaster relief workers delivered cleaning supplies to two Virginia locations this week to help residents whose homes and businesses were flooded.

The Rev. Harry Howe and Mark Stransky delivered 110 “cleaning kits" to Wise on Monday and 30 buckets to Hansonville on Tuesday. The kits (buckets) were assembled by Holston Conference churches in recent months and have been stored at Project Crossroads in Marion, Virginia.

The cleaning buckets were transported to Wise as the Appalachian District office prepared to respond to regional flooding. The Rev. Beth Tipton, Appalachian District disaster response coordinator, said the Coeburn fire department and a local student had already picked up buckets.

Tipton said she will deliver 20 buckets to Dickenson County emergency management today.

Tipton sent an email to Appalachian District pastors on Monday, offering the cleaning buckets and aid from trained emergency response workers after heavy rains caused flooding and mudslides.

“Please check with your parishioners, neighbors, and community members to see if this free clean-up aid is needed in your area,” Tipton’s email said.

“Some of the communities have been hit hard,” said the Rev. Jeff Wright, Appalachian District superintendent. “Right now, I think most people are in the assessment stage and trying to figure out what is needed.”

Thirty cleaning buckets were delivered to Hansonville after a Clinch Mountain District pastor, the Rev. Jim Lyttle, reported severe flooding in Russell County, Virginia.

“We have several road closures as well as parts of some towns blocked with water onto the roads and homes,” Lyttle said in an email on Monday. “As of an hour ago, all churches on the Clinch Circuit were unaffected.”

On Tuesday, Lyttle said that cleaning buckets from Holston Conference were given to the Emergency Management Coordinator for Russell County. “Keep us in your prayers as we strive to serve all God's children.”

The Rev. Sandra Johnson, Clinch Mountain District superintendent, said she had spoken to Lyttle and also to the Rev. Brooke Atchley about flooding in the former Tazewell District, where Atchley serves as Church and Community Worker. 

“[Brooke] was not aware of any flooding of homes but there are sheds and barns that have been affected in the Richlands area of Tazewell County,” Johnson said.

Atchley said that flooding had occurred near Elk Garden School Community Ministry in Rosedale, Va.

"The creeks flooded below the Elk Garden school and across from the Elk Garden church. No water got in the church," Atchley said.

See Facebook video of Elk Garden flooding.

"We had some church members lose dog lots, sheds, and will have lots of yard cleanup from debris but no major structural damage. I did not have any requests for buckets on my end of Russell County or the upper end of the Clinch Mountain District," Atchley said.

Church groups are requested to begin assembling new cleaning buckets to replace the buckets distributed this week, said Jim Fetzer, Holston Conference disaster response coordinator.

Instructions for assembling the cleaning buckets (kits) – which include detergent, air freshener, scrub brushes, and sponges – are posted on UMCOR’s web page. Contact the district office nearest you or CharlotteRiggins@Holston.org to find out where to deliver cleaning buckets.

In her email to Appalachian District pastors, Tipton said, “One of the beautiful things about the United Methodist Church is we are connected. Let's work together locally to respond to the needs following this flood event in our area." 

 Contact Annette Spence at annettespence@holston.org.


See also:
Instructions for assembling Cleaning Buckets (UMCOR)

At least 75 roads closed in SW Virginia (BHC, 2.11.18)
Rain causes mudslides, partial dam failure (AP, 2.12.18)
$700,000 in emergency funds for SW Virginia (BHC, 2.12.18)