HURRICANE SLAMS HAITI, CUBA; HEADED TOWARD UNITED STATES

Baptist and Reflector

Image: NOAA.gov

Image: NOAA.gov

BRENTWOOD — Tennessee Baptist disaster relief volunteers are on alert, awaiting word from Southern Baptist Disaster Relief as to where and when they will be needed in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti on Oct. 4, causing massive destruction before hitting Cuba later that night. The damage in Cuba was not as extensive as first expected, according to news reports.

Associated Press reported that at least 11 deaths have been blamed on Hurricane Matthew, which at one time was a Category 5 storm, making it the most powerful hurricane in the region in nearly a decade.

Though the storm is moving toward the United States, flash flooding and mudslides are still a possibility in the areas already hit by the storm, according to AP.

The news service also reported rainfall totals were expected to reach 15 to 25 inches in Haiti, with up to 40 inches in isolated areas.

The hurricane is now a Category 3 storm and could cause even more damage as it nears the eastern coast of the U.S. The Weather Channel reported Oct. 5 that the storm is expected to hit the Florida Peninsula Thursday and Friday, possible lingering into northeast Florida on Saturday. The storm is expected to hit southeast Georgia Friday and Saturday and eastern North and South Carolina on Friday and Saturday and possibly lingering into Sunday.

Wes Jones, TBC disaster relief specialist, said Southern Baptist Disaster Relief officials at the North American Mission Board, have scheduled a conference call on Oct. 6 to further discuss possible relief efforts after the hurricane makes landfall in the U.S.

Tennessee Baptist volunteers have responded to a number of disaster relief needs this year that have put a strain on the DR budget, Jones reported.

Tennessee Baptists interested in donating to hurricane relief can respond online at tndisasterrelief.org to 2016 Hurricane Matthew or by check made payable to the Tennessee Baptist Convention and mailed to Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 728, Brentwood, TN 37024.

Additional stories on the hurricane will be posted online throughout this week at www.baptistandreflector.org.

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