On May 28, 2013, an EF1 tornado swept across southern Erie County, PA. Miraculously, there were no major injuries, but dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed. A few families have lost everything and some have no insurance.
The clean-up has gone well, with the help of the Red Cross and hundreds of volunteers. But the rebuilding has yet to begin.
This tornado was too small to qualify for state or federal assistance. So what the government won't be doing, the people of God will!
The Erie County Tornado Recovery Fund is a county-wide effort administered by the Union City Family Support Center (a local social-services non-profit) working in conjunction with the Greater Erie Red Cross, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, and the Erie-Meadville District of the United Methodist Church. Donations may be sent to the Erie County Tornado Recovery Fund, 38 North Main Street, Union City, PA 16438.
Uninsured situations include: a home that needs to be rebuilt from scratch; a single-wide mobile home that needs to be replaced; furnaces that weren't covered by insurance because flooding caused the damage; cars without comprehensive insurance crushed by falling trees; roofs that must be repaired, replacement of home furnishings, and removal of precarious trees. This was a small weather "event" and the task of rebuilding is daunting. Our hearts go out to those in far worse situations elsewhere.
**Rev. Jim Parkinson, pastor of First UMC in Union City, has been coordinating the United Methodist response to the tornado.