Church Offers Relief after Flood, Mudslide

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    After heavy rains and torrential flooding in Arizona, California, Nevada, and southern Utah destroyed or damaged more than 200 homes, members in those areas continue to work to get their lives and homes back in order or help others do so.

    Flooding in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah affected members in seven stakes, destroying 25 member homes and damaging 117 more. Although no lives were lost there, the floodwaters ravaged a considerable amount of farmland, particularly in southern Utah.

    The St. George Utah Green Valley Stake was hardest hit. In that stake alone 18 member homes were destroyed and 36 were damaged. In the Mesquite Nevada Stake, 4 homes were destroyed and 28 were damaged.

    In La Conchita, California, a mudslide killed 10 people and destroyed or damaged more than 30 homes. In response, local members volunteered labor and assisted local agencies.

    Church-sponsored relief efforts in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah started shortly after the flooding began. The Church contributed to the relief effort in three steps.

    The first step consisted of local Relief Societies and priesthood groups volunteering to help with whatever assistance was needed soon after the flooding began. This included finding housing for those displaced because of the flood.

    The second step involved the Church making donations to Red Cross chapters in Nevada and Utah. Several Church buildings were used as Red Cross shelters. Many Church members assisted in overseeing the operations of the shelters.

    The third step entailed the Church donating food and hygiene items taken from the St. George, Utah, bishops’ storehouse to food pantries and community shelters. Wheelbarrows and shovels were provided to cleanup crews.

    Seminary students from high schools in St. George helped clean up in and around homes that were flooded or damaged.

    A St. George, Utah, home collapses into floodwaters that ate away the home’s foundation. (Photograph by Scott G. Winterton.)