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Hurricane Irene


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Reports from the field are not yet final, but we have received preliminary reports of our brothers and sister along the east coast and our 3 branch facilities. These come to us from 3 permanent disaster relief committees and 10 regional building committees on the east coast.

So far there are no reports of loss of life or injuries of our brothers and sisters. The islands of the Bahamas and other islands reported very minor damage and cleanup efforts are well under the way.

Several K.H. in North Carolina received minor wind damage. And isolated storm damage to a few of the publishers’ homes, Wide spread power outages affected portions of the Carolinas along the east coast to Maine and in some areas power will not be restored for several days.

Initial reports are there were 2 K.H. that sustained flood damage in NJ and one in Vermont. In addition several of the brothers homes received flood damage.

In all cases the local elders under the direction of the regional building committees are caring for the needs of our brothers.

The different departments in Bethel performed detailed checks to ensure we were prepared as best as we could for and to prevent any damage at the 3 U. S. Branch facilities. Arrangements were made to care for Temporary guests for the weekend or help them return home before the storm hit. Every available guest room was prepared by the housekeeping department for emergency use by some 100 guests who were stranded due to the storm or Bethel family members who had to relocate.

Some minor damage was experienced by numerous room and offices experienced some water infiltration. In addition some areas with facilities on the ground level or below ground level were flooded. Many trees came down on our property and crews are busy removing them. Heavy winds at Wallkill resulted in some of our apple crop being lost as well as the loss of the remaining sweet corn crop.

Extensive flooding was experienced around the area of our property in Warwick, NY with the result of eroding of the some of the roads around our property. Because of downed power lines and loss of power, our facilities at Patterson and Wallkill operated on emergency power over the weekend which limited the printing operations for the time being at Wallkill. Several offsite houses are without power for the time being. Emergency command stations were set up at all 3 sites throughout the weekend with some brothers in Brooklyn staying in the offices overnight to monitor the situation. Hundreds of brothers and sisters worked to ensure the safety of our guests and minimize the damage to our property.

Locally in our congregation there are some brothers and sisters without power and phone service as of right now and will be for several more days. Some have emergency generators and are sharing their water facilities with some other neighbor publishers. While some trees fell, none fell on their homes.

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What an awesome organization we are a part of.

We just had a local needs last night all about how this information gets back to the GB through the service committees, DO, CO, CoBE & FSGO (Field Service Group Overseers). We were reminded of how important it is to keep our information up to date with the Secretary so we can be contacted and checked on if there is a disaster in our area. It is our own fault if we don't keep this info up to date and no one can get in contact with us.

PLEASE UPDATE YOUR INFO (phone, address, etc) with the Secretary in your congregation.

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