First UMC Duluth offers shelter to flood victims

June 20, 2012

By: Victoria Rebeck

As floodwaters debilitate the Duluth area, First United Methodist Church is serving as a shelter for those displaced from their homes. Rev. Pam Serdar, superintendent of the Big Waters District, reports that most United Methodist churches in the area so far have suffered minimal damage, limited to some water in the basement.

Rev. David Bard says that at 2:45 a.m. this morning, he received a call from the Red Cross asking to use the church as an emergency shelter.

"Part of who we are is being involved in the community," Bard said. "So we said yes. We've been an available space for people who need to leave their homes."

Bard also said the church will act as an overnight shelter as well, as the city expects another five inches of rain to fall. So far 20 people have used the space as a shelter.

Rev. Heather Klason, Minnesota Conference disaster response coordinator, will be in contact with emergency management officials.  The team cannot provide basement clean-up help until water has receded, she said.

While more rain is expected, river waters may continue to rise even after the rain has stopped.

Highways 35, 23, 61 and others are closed. Please DO NOT travel to the area in an attempt to help. You will hamper the efforts of first responders to address residents’ needs.

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 870-0058