Diocesan Update - September 7, 2011
- additional messages from those affected by the storm
Dear Reverend Father in Christ,
Thank you for calling me during your vacation to check on the folks at St. Christopher's while my husband and I were on vacation in the White Mountains of NH. (It took us 14 hours to reach home, so many roads and bridges were out in NH, VT, MA, and NY.)
Not until we returned on Saturday 9/3 did we learn that Schoharie County was the worst hit of all upstate New York, in Hurricane Irene. Hundreds and hundreds of homes, businesses, farms, public offices (courts, town halls, libraries) and churches were destroyed or have been condemned. Cows were drowned. Horses were swept away. Fields ready for harvest were ruined. Most people who have lost their homes had no flood insurance, and FEMA is telling us there is no money available from the Federal Government. The scenes of devastation here are unbelievably heartbreaking, and some fear the county may never recover.
Thanks be to God St. Christopher's church building, rectory, and our house in Cobleskill were spared, as were most of our parishioners. However, among our members:
- A doctor lost her entire office in Central Bridge, and a tree fell on her house that flooded, in Howe's Cave--she is staying with a friend;
- Another's brother lost both his home and business in Middleburgh--the family are staying with relatives;
- A third's house in Middleburgh was flooded and a tree fell through it--she is at the Best Western in Cobleskill and trying to care for a special-needs child.
- A fourth lived in a trailer in a low-lying area of Middleburgh and was forced to evacuate twice--she is now staying at our house.
Today all of Schoharie and Middleburgh are under evacation orders for the second time; the waters of the Gilboa Dam are rising rapidly and the emergency sirens are inoperative; it continues to pour rain; Cobleskill is starting to flood, and many of the surrounding roads have been closed.
We need your prayers, and if anyone in the Diocese wants to help with the relief efforts here, Donations can be made to the following:
Schoharie County Community Action Program
(check made out to SCCAP, "flood victim relief" in the memo line)
795 E. Main St. - Suite 5
Cobleskill NY 12043
(check made out to) St. Christopher's Church Discretionary Fund
The Rev. Dr. Nina George-Hacker
St. Christopher's Episcopal Church
PO Box 386
Cobleskill NY 12043-0386
May God have mercy on us all.
Thank you, and God bless you,
"Paul F. wrote on September 7th:
Dear Bishop Love,
I attend Christ Church Duanesburg and 4 miles from our church over 100 homes have been destroyed by Irene in the village of Esperance. Further up stream are the villages of Schoharie and Middelburg, two more neighboring towns. Middelburg has over 120 homes destroyed along with the first floor of their school and 80 % of businesses. Schoharie has even more destruction…
I will gladly drive you through these areas so you can see firsthand the destruction numerous families have sustained.