Needs Assessments Continue after Zeta and Sally

November 04, 2020

One week ago today Hurricane Zeta raced through the Alabama-West Florida Conference, just weeks after Hurricane Sally made landfall along the coast. While Hurricane Sally left more long-term damage, Zeta added additional burdens and work for some areas. 
We are pleased to announce that that United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has issued a $10,000 solidarity grant for Hurricane Zeta disaster response efforts. These grants allow funding for immediate on-the-ground efforts to help those communities most affected by Zeta. 
“UMCOR continues to be a significant partner with our disaster response efforts,” said Rev. Ashley Davis, AWF director of connectional ministries. “We have had to call on them multiple times in the past two years and they have stepped up to show their connectional dedication to the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Each storm that comes through this conference adds damage, heartache and response work, but we are using these challenges as opportunities to better our disaster response protocol. By now, we are pleased with our system and teamwork, yet we always have room for growth and improvement. Rev. Chris Ackerman, AWF disaster response director, is one of the most dedicated individuals I’ve encountered and I’m grateful for his continued leadership.” 
Below is an update for each district in the conference. While some areas were able to quickly remove debris and return to regular operations, some areas of our conference are awaiting power to be restored. According to the Alabama Voluntary Organizations After Disaster (VOAD), this was the largest power outage event on record in the state of Alabama.  

Baypines District
-no new damage other than limb debris
-Still in need of teams from Hurricane Sally
Dothan District
-no damage
Demopolis District
-Jackson FUMC: minor damage
-Thomasville UMC: minor roof damage, parsonage damage
-Camden UMC: minor roof damage
-All churches are assisting their communities
-Outside assistance is not needed at this time
-Power outages are still an issue
Marianna-Panama City District
-No new damage, continued recovery from Hurricane Michael
Mobile District
-Crawford UMC: damage to awning and cross
-Wilmer UMC: trees down and limb debris
-Dauphin Island UMC: flooding
-Coden UMC: flooding in sanctuary
-Pine Grove UMC: trees down
-Ebenezer UMC: trees down
-Chatom UMC: trees down
-Satsuma UMC: parsonage has limb debris and two church members with trees on house
-Citronelle UMC: trees down at parsonage; damage to roof at church, major damage to the town
-Mt. Vernon UMC: tree on fence; cemetery road blocked, two members with large oaks down; parsonage has tress down and sections of shingles missing
Montgomery-Opelika District
-No Zeta damage other than a sign down at Loachapoka UMC
Montgomery-Prattville District
-Some reports of damage in outlying areas of Selma, working to better understand this damage
-Some damage in Clanton with Clanton FUMC assisting well in the community
Pensacola District
-No new damage from Zeta
-Relying on local volunteers, teams still needed for Hurricane Sally damage
Most of the damage from Zeta can be managed from local volunteers but outsides teams are desperately needed along the coast after Hurricane Sally. Please register your team through this form. As always, monetary donations are needed and greatly appreciated as we recover and rebuild. Click here to donate.
Click here to read a feature story on Rev. Chris Ackerman, AWF director of disaster response, and Amelia Fletcher, former director. 
Click here to read a feature story about how our district disaster response coordinators have a positive impact on helping communities respond and communicate after a storm.