United Methodists help flooded community of Fernley, Nevada

January 10, 2008

By Sue King

Volunteers in Mission/Disaster Response staff

Bishop Beverly Shamana has requested an emergency grant and a disaster consultant from United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to assist California-Nevada Annual Conference in providing flood relief to Fernley, Nevada, following a severe storm that caused the rupture in a levee near the California border.


Early Jan. 5, 2008, a 30-foot section of the Truckee Canal breached, flooding an area of approximately two square miles. More than 700 homes in Fernley’s southeast neighborhoods filled with water anywhere from six inches to eight feet deep, with three-to-four feet in the majority of homes, according to Michael Hurrick of the Nevada Red Cross office. People and pets fled their homes or were evacuated by neighbors, local police, fire and other first responders. No lives were lost. By late afternoon of the same day, the rupture in the canal had been repaired by TCID (Truckee Carson Irrigation District). Water in the Truckee has been diverted from the canal into the Truckee River so that there is no longer a risk for further flooding due to the breach, say officials of the City of Fernley.


California-Nevada United Methodists and other church and volunteer organizations are joining the response and recovery efforts of local, state and federal officials as they are responding quickly to the emergency.


UMCOR personnel are arriving Jan. 11 to work with Annual Conference staff and volunteers.


“As they have in the past, I am confident that California-Nevada United Methodists will respond quickly and generously with prayers, volunteer hours and financial gifts,” said Bishop Shamana. “We are thankful that no lives were lost in this unfortunate event.”


How can you and your church help??

We will need donations and volunteers—especially volunteers with Early Response Disaster training and skills—to help less experienced, but willing, volunteers with the flood recovery work. Donations of food and clothing are no longer needed for the immediate relief of evacuees. However, the homeowners will need money to buy rubber boots, gloves, shovels, and protective coveralls as the “muck out” phase of flood recovery is beginning soon. Down the road, they will need sheet rock, paint and other materials to repair flood damaged homes. Our annual conference disaster response efforts will be focused on long-term recovery for those homeowners who have no other resources to rebuilding their homes and their lives.


Financial gifts should be designated as “Fernley Flood Recovery” and sent to the Conference office, P.O. Box 980250, West Sacramento, CA 95798-0250 to be combined with the UMCOR emergency funding.


All volunteers should email or call the California-Nevada Volunteers in Mission office to get the latest information and to register with their contact information: umvim@calnevumc.org or call (916) 374-1584.


All volunteers must register so that they will be covered by accident insurance while volunteering. Volunteers do NOT need to be United Methodists to get the insurance or to become part of CA-NV disaster response.


Look for daily updates on the Fernley Flood Recovery at www.cnumc.org under “What’s New” and for volunteer information and registration at www.cnumcvim.org.