UMCOR Flood Response

Watch This Video
Windows Media
High Resolution Downloads

Spring can be a time of strong storms, and the results can leave people reeling. When volunteers are needed, the United Methodist Committee on Relief steps in. Lilla Marigza followed teams helping those devastated by a historic flood in Tennessee.

 New Items | Additional Stories | Archives


(Locator: Nashville, Tenn.)

Nashville resident Randall Hamm is shocked to see what flood water has done to his home.

Randall Hamm, Flood Survivor: “Stuff that was in the kitchen is in the back room.”

“Music City” alone sustained 1.5 billon dollars in damage due to a record 13” of rainfall across Tennessee the first two days of May 2010 . Hamm came home from work to find boats rescuing his neighbors.

Randall Hamm, Flood Survivor: “I knew my dog was in here and they wouldn’t take me out there in the boat to get her. So, some guys had a rope. They tied the rope around me and I jumped in the water and swim over here. I had my door key in my mouth. I opened the door up and she was floating on the couch right here.”

The loss of property is stunning. Family photos and belongings piled in the street, unsalvageable. Sandy DeLoach bagged 49 years of history from the home of her elderly in-laws.

Sandy DeLoach, Flood Survivor: “It’s sad to know that I’m throwing away some things that may be treasureable. But they’re gone.”

Neighbors needed a bit of good news, and it began arriving from all over the U.S. The United Methodist Committee on Relief’s disaster response teams stepped in with tools. Joe Minor is with a crew from Indiana.

Joe Minor, Salem United Methodist Volunteer, Evansville, Ind.: ”We’ve removed all the insulation out of the walls. It was wet. Really just preparing it to where they can come back and reconstruct.”

Paul Givens and his UMCOR team are old pros. They’ve been to hurricanes Hugo, Andrew and Katrina.

Paul Givens, St. Mark’s United Methodist, Murfreesboro, Tenn.: “On average, I would say we do 5 or 6 disasters a year, just depends. Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, whatever.”

This is Gerald Davis’ first trip.

Gerald Davis, Salem United Methodist, Evansville, Ind.: “We are here to do as much as we can so it cuts down on their expense.”

The Rev. David Lay, A United Methodist Disaster Coordinator: “We will be here through that whole process, until they can get back into their home.”

Randall Hamm: “It’s deeply appreciated. If it wasn’t for people like this, we’d really be in bad shape. It means the world to me.”


To learn how you can help, contact the United Methodist Committee on Relief at 1-800-918-3100.

Posted: May 12, 2010