Local church joins hurricane clean-up efforts

Published 4:36 pm Thursday, November 1, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Clanton branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has joined with other congregations around the Montgomery area to assist in clean up after Hurricane Michael.

Von Memory, cleanup efforts organizational leader for this region of churches, said five to six members of the local church joined the relief efforts. These teams were joined by several in surrounding states as Helping Hands teams. Helping Hands teams have gone to Marianna, Florida, and surrounding areas for the past two weekends and will be going to Sneeds this weekend.

“Homes have been destroyed, and there is a lot of damage … In many instances, it is devastating,” Memory said. “Many of these people will not have power until the end of November.”

He said there were many utility workers in the area removing downed power lines and restoring power.

Teams receive work orders for projects to complete.

“There may be trees down, maybe trees on cars,” Memory said. “They may need tarps to cover the homes.”

Each team is eight to 10 people and equipped with chainsaws, wheelbarrows, tarps and other equipment.

Larger machinery has also been brought in to remove larger debris.

When natural disasters strike, the denomination’s headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah put out information that is distributed to the various levels about the need for volunteers.

“The structure is highly efficient,” Memory said.

Areas have been devastated by high winds and tornadoes that spun out of the initial hurricane.

Troy Stubbs, public affairs contact for the Montgomery region of churches, said The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be having teams going to the area through Nov. 17.

He said the teams are working with local municipalities, power companies and other organizations in coordinated efforts.

He said teams are organized after an initial assessment is made, and a crisis management hotline is used to receive information about needs.

On the weekend of Oct. 27-28, 35 jobs and over 800 hours were completed.