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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Hurricane slows relief efforts

Cleanup replaces rebuilding in the Virgin Islands

Hurricane Bertha blew into the Caribbean in July, dealing a setback to residents still rebuilding from 1995's Hurricane Marilyn.

When warnings were issued, Lutheran volunteers in the Virgin Islands moved from re building to boarding up homes. The volunteers found shelter in the parsonage of Frederick Lutheran Church, Charlotte Amalie.

No injuries were reported, but winds ripped off most of the blue tarps that covered homes damaged by Hurricane Mari lyn last September.

Lutheran Church of the Reformation, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, which lost its sanctuary in the last storm, was hit again. Bertha wrecked the tent where members celebrated the eucharist on Sundays. One tent pole puncture d the roof of the church office, damaging a computer.

In North Carolina, Charles Moeller, coordinator of relief efforts, said Bertha did not do any major damage to Lutheran churches. There was minimal damage to members' homes.

He said volunteers are needed to help with cleanup and some rebuilding. To aid relief efforts, Our Savior Lutheran Church in Jacksonville, N.C., will house volunteers.

At presstime disaster response representatives were assessing needs in the Caribbean and North Carolina.


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