Tharran Gaines, MODR Public Information Team
Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief, with help from a team from Texas Baptist Men, recently completed 163 work orders in and around Bethany, Missouri, following a derecho (deh-REY-cho) that struck the area on June 29th. As classified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a derecho is a widespread, long-lived windstorm with a wind-damage swath that extends more than 240 miles and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph or greater along most of its length. In comparison, the northern Missouri storm produced sustained wind speeds of 60 to 80 miles per hour, leaving behind literally hundreds of downed trees and “hangers” that needed to be dropped.
“The city told us they couldn’t have gotten by without our help … even though they were skeptical at first,” said John Mohler, Director of Missions for the Harrison Baptist Association, based in Bethany. “And I say we couldn’t have gotten by without the teams from Clay-Platte Association,” he added, noting that a total of 118 team members and 18 volunteers assisted over the 27-day period. “Nobody believed we could respond so quickly and so efficiently. So, there’s a whole new appreciation for MODR in this area, which is opening the door for changed lives.”