The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) has deployed alongside Samaritan’s Purse to Bertie County, North Carolina, to provide emotional and spiritual care after a tornado spawned by Hurricane Isaias tore through early Tuesday morning.
“We are saddened to hear of the devastation and loss of life in Bertie County, and our chaplains are deploying to the area to share the hope that is found in Jesus Christ to all of those who are hurting,” said Josh Holland, assistant director of the RRT. “As Isaias continues to move up the coast, our prayers are with all of those who have already been impacted as well as those in its path.”
The storm made landfall around 11 p.m. Monday as a Category 1 hurricane near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. As the hurricane’s eye crossed over the coast, 90 mph winds generated multiple tornadoes, with one ripping through a mobile home park outside of Windsor, North Carolina, early Tuesday morning. Two people were killed and at least 20 others were injured.
Crisis-trained chaplains are prepared to minister to the hurting community while following guidelines established by the local and federal government to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Measures include wearing masks and gloves and practicing social distancing.
“We are extraordinarily grateful for the assistance of community nonprofits, churches and local law enforcement agencies who continue to assist us,” Bertie County Commissioners Chair Ronald Wesson said. “We had so many area agencies standing at the ready to spring into action. Our hearts are heavy as we continue to survey damage and get the big picture about what transpired, and just how many were impacted.”
Although Isaias was downgraded to a tropical storm, five other deaths were recorded in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut as the storm traveled up the East Coast. And as of Wednesday morning, more than 3 million Mid-Atlantic and New England customers were still without electricity, according to PowerOutage.US.
Bertie County marks the RRT’s 27th deployment this year.
Photo: Julia Wall/The News & Observer via AP