Lutheran Church Charities Disaster Response Site Coordinator, Trent Davis, reports from Washington, Illinois on Monday, January 13th:
As I look out over the damage zone it is amazing to see and think about how much has been done in so little time.
Most of the homes that need to be torn down have been removed, although there are probably 60-80 homes that are still standing that are waiting for insurance approval to remove or the home owners just haven't asked for help yet.
Empty foundations and lots go as far as the eye can see in both directions from the front of the church, but there is also the beginnings of something new. As I drove around today, I counted at least ten properties where new construction has begun or the material is there and the framing is about to begin, as soon as the weather eases. This is so good to see and a great place to be just two months after an EF4 tornado.
We have reached a lull in our recovery efforts. There is still a lot of clean up work to be done but most of it is hiding underneath the snow and, while this snow is melting, it appears that another snow shower may arrive soon.
And so, we will be completing Phase 1 of our volunteer recovery efforts in Washington on Saturday, January 18th.
If you have served with us over the last two months, we would love to see you again, or if you have been wanting to serve, please come and join us this coming Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday to help us "finish strong" Phase 1 of our clean up efforts.
Please register to let us know that you are coming.
If you don't have time to put on the orange vest and work, we would still love to see you for lunch on Saturday the 18th as we celebrate this milestone of recovery. Again, please register (RSVP) online and just put "lunch only" on the registration form so that we are prepared with enough food for everyone.
If you are not able to join us, please know that we are forever grateful, thankful and appreciate all that you have done and continue to do to do support the folks of Our Savior Lutheran, Lutheran Church Charities and most importantly, the people of Washington Illinois.
So, what's next?
At this time, we believe that "Phase 2" will be a series of one-day servant events most likely happening on Saturdays once or twice per month throughout the spring and summer for as long as we continue to have requests for assistance from our neighbors.
Our first one-day servant event will be happening on Saturday, March 1st with a rain date (it will be spring in Illinois after all) of Saturday, March 8th. If you would like to participate in this opportunity to serve you MUST register (see links below). We will not be accepting "walk in" volunteers and we will need to know how many folks to plan enough work and lunches.
The deadline to register will be two weeks prior to the event (Sunday, February 16th) and there will be a limit to the number of volunteers that we can use for each event. So please do not procrastinate if you wish to serve.
We would prefer that each church or group wanting to participate would designate a "team leader" and all other participants register under that church or leader's name. More details will be available on the web site.
Thanks & Blessings
Trent Davis - Onsite Disaster Response Coordinator for Our Savior Lutheran Church