A carved cross in Perry, Florida. (Facebook/Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief Volunteers)
PERRY, Fla. – Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief (ABDR) volunteers are providing help, healing and hope of Jesus Christ in Florida following the destruction wrought by Hurricane Idalia.
The Category 3 hurricane made landfall along the Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday, Aug. 30, with maximum sustained winds near 125 mph before sweeping into Georgia and South Carolina as a still-powerful storm.
An ABDR team, comprised of chainsaw unit volunteers, chaplains and assessors, is in Perry, Florida, about 20 miles from where Hurricane Idalia made landfall.
ABDR Director Randy Garrett said they have another team in route to Perry with more volunteers departing on Saturday and a large contingent prepared to leave on Sept. 24. As of Monday, Sept. 11, he said they had around 1,000 work requests in the town.
“We’ll be down there for the foreseeable future,” Garrett said. “With a thousand work requests, the need will be there for quite some time. It’s just a massive undertaking, not just for Arkansas but for other states to come down and help.”
So far, Garrett said the team has seen two salvations in Florida.
Additionally, ABDR volunteers recently aided in Valdosta, Georgia, where Hurricane Idalia left a mess of downed trees and other destruction. The ABDR team was able to complete 26 tarping jobs.
Even with teams out of state, ABDR is still taking care of those at home. On Wednesday, Sept. 6, a microburst storm knocked down trees and left more than 17,000 people without power in West Little Rock. The Fellowship Bible Church chainsaw team was on site to aid those in need.
Garrett asked for continued prayer for those impacted as they navigate the days ahead and all Disaster Relief volunteers.
For more information about ABDR, click here.