TBM volunteers provide disaster relief in Midwest

Rick Simmons, a Texas Baptist Men disaster relief volunteer with climbing expertise, served on a chainsaw crew in Illinois. (PHOTO / Courtesy of Texas Baptist Men)

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Texas Baptist Men disaster relief volunteers served throughout August in the storm-damaged and flood-ravaged Midwest.

A nine-member mud-out crew from Harmony-Pittsburg Baptist Association in East Texas worked 10 days in Iowa, clearing water-damaged and silt-filled homes. The crew completed 15 clean-up jobs, tearing out damaged drywall and removing debris before power-washing and disinfecting affected areas, said Ralph Rogers of Amarillo, TBM state mud-out coordinator.

tbm wendell romans350Wendell Romans, director of the Collin Baptist Association chainsaw crew, served with Texas Baptist Men at Woodhaven Lakes camping resort about 100 miles west of Chicago. (PHOTO / Courtesy of Texas Baptist Men)

TBM also deployed chainsaw crews—10 volunteers from Collin Baptist Association and 11 from Bluebonnet Baptist Association and First Baptist Church in Canyon Lake—to Illinois. An EF-2 tornado swept through the area around Sublette, Ill., this summer, significantly damaging the Woodhaven Lakes camping resort about 100 miles west of Chicago.

“The Texas group was called out because of their climbing expertise,” said Ben Moberley of Spring Branch, TBM state chainsaw coordinator.

The Texas crews tackled jobs other crews lacked the experience to complete, he noted, pointing out the area incident command team leader described the TBM volunteers as the “go-to guys” for difficult chainsaw work.

Illinois Baptist volunteers followed the TBM crews, working on the ground to cut logs into manageable sizes and haul them away.


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