Got this last night from Bill Sharpe who hopefully will blog about his experiences when he gets a chance.
“Disasters are a quickly changing environment. But, here is what I think I know.
The two pictures were taken last Saturday afternoon near the time of the crest at St Mark Minot. The first picture shows the parking lot of St Mark, Minot. The second is looking eastward down 4th St from St Mark. St Mark has/had water in its basement. In anticipation of a much higher crest, many of the building’s content were removed.
St Paul and Our Savior were not threatened by flood waters.
Rev Daryl and Peggy Rothchild definitely have water in their home. I am not sure they have been able to see or assess the damages. But, their home is in an area that has a LOT of water.
My best estimate right now based on congregational assessments is that 150+ LCMS families have been affected by high water in Bismarck and Minot. This number will probably grow as congregations “find” members who have been evacuated.
There are many families in rural areas who continue to battle high ground water levels or standing water. They are sometimes forgotten as news coverage highlights areas with high concentrations of people. Most counties in ND have been declared a disaster area by someone.
Our Savior’s child care center is operating using trucked in water and porta potties. St Paul is hosting two local child care centers in their building. I was told yesterday that St Paul has one operating toilet.
Staff from LCMS Human Care and World Relief have visited both Bismarck and Minot. They have already allocated funds to congregations to help them meet immediate needs of members.
Clean up crews will definitely be needed at a later date. This would be a good time to train clean up teams and gather supplies. If you or your congregation would like to help, please let me know. Since the waters remain high, there is not an immediate need for volunteers. The people of Minot are still experiencing a disaster. They are not to a recovery phase yet.
I also caution against in-gatherings of items unless you have spoken directly to someone in the affected area who can use the items being donated.Cash contributions can be sent to the ND District and designated for flood relief. We will use them throughout the district as we work with those affected and identify needs.
William L. Sharpe