Great Plains responds to Eureka tornadoes


The Great Plains Disaster Response Ministry has been actively participating in the relief phase after the EF3 and EF2 tornadoes that touched down in Eureka, Kansas, on Thursday night, July 7.

Along with tarping multiple roofs, cutting down trees and limbs, removing debris, passing out water and Gatorade, distributing snacks, moving furniture, provided in-kinds gifts of tarps, wood, electrical work to three homeowners, and we provided spiritual and emotional care to many (lost count)!

We also provided Volunteer Management beginning Monday morning and worked in the Multi Agency Resource Center, or MARC, for two days, where we assisted 33 homeowners.Out of those 33, we have established conversations to provide financial assistance to nine of those homeowners. These homeowners are individuals who are elderly, disabled or veterans and those who have no homeowners insurance. Great Plains responded with 25 Early Response Technicians on the ground from Saturday, July 9, through Wednesday, July 13. Our teams were joined by two Habitat for Humanity volunteers from McPherson, a local individual, and two from Lutheran Disaster Services.

The two tornadoes affected 168 homes -- 34 were totally destroyed, 24 sustained major damage, 40 minor damage, and 71 others were affected in some other way. These numbers will mostly change as the damaged homes settle and with the anticipation of more severe weather late this week.

The long-term needs in Eureka will be great. A Community Long Term Recovery Committee will be established in the coming weeks to plan for rebuilds and permanent repairs. We will be represented on this committee to assist with financial and volunteer assistance.

Currently the need is for financial donations. These can be made to the Great Plains Disaster Response Fund, PO Box 4187, Topeka, KS 66604.

-- Hollie Tapley, disaster response coordinator

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