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Hurricane Sally Hits Hard, AG Churches Spared -- So Far

AG districts responding as Hurricane Sally brought high winds, heavy rains, and flooding to many communities.

Southern Alabama and the western panhandle of Florida bore the brunt of Hurricane Sally when it hit on Wednesday. The storm made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 105 mph and dumped up to 30 inches of rain. There have been no reports of any AG churches experiencing significant damage due to the storm, but as rivers drain, that could change.

According to Vint Norris, director of the Alabama District Council Disaster Response, although some Alabama AG churches experienced minor structural damage, he is not aware of any churches with significant damage. However, he adds that many communities were hard hit.

“There are tons of downed trees and debris and many people without power, so we’re coordinating relief teams, debris teams, to go in and help with the clean-up,” Norris states. “Orange Beach was hit hard, but The Island Church (Fred Franks, pastor) only had minor damage. Convoy of Hope is already on the ground at Fred Franks’ church.”

Norris says that the district will begin its efforts by serving churches and their communities in Loxley, Summerdale, Foley, and Orange Beach.

“We’re bringing in all kinds of supplies and generators and bringing a truck load of ice to Orange Beach,” Norris says. Teams interested in assisting as part of debris removal teams or in other capacities should contact Norris at 251-209-2818.

West Florida District Council Superintendent Tommy Moore says that to this point no churches in the district have reported significant damages, but there is major flooding in the district as I-10 and Hwy. 90 were both closed due to high water. Several pastors’ homes were also flooded.

“We had 15 to 30 inches of rain in the west part of the district,” Moore says. “The problem is, rivers in Alabama and Georgia drain through here, and that will create a second round of river flooding over the next five days.”

Moore says the district is organizing teams to help AG churches minister to their communities and assist Convoy of Hope and other relief organizations in the distribution of supplies. Teams that want to volunteer to assist should contact Bill Mayo at the district office: 850-482-2986.

“We’re thankful for things going as well as they are,” Moore says, “and, once again (in reference to Category 5 Hurricane Michael that hit the panhandle in 2018), we’ll be picking up the pieces and moving forward.”

Dan Van Veen

Dan Van Veen is news editor of AG News. Prior to transitioning to AG News in 2001, Van Veen served as managing editor of AG U.S. Missions American Horizon magazine for five years. He attends Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri, where he and his wife, Lori, teach preschool Sunday School and 4- and 5-year-old Rainbows boys and girls on Wednesdays.