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South suffering quietly

With public attention riveted on the Midwest tornadoes, some southern states are looking at severe flooding.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | May 9, 2003


"Many of these communities have seen severe weather over and over this fall and spring."

—Lesli Remaly


With public attention riveted on the Midwest tornadoes, some southern states are looking at severe flooding after more than a foot of rain fell this week.

In the face of media concentration on the Midwest tornadoes, southern flood disaster survivors may end up feeling forgotten, said Lesli Remaly, a Church World Service disaster response and recovery liaison.

"With the media riveted on tornadoes, it is my hope these flood survivors do not feel forgotten," she said. "The faith community will be reaching out to them, both immediately and in the long term."

Remaly added that this flooding is both severe and repetitive, and that small tornadoes are plaguing the area as well. "Many of these communities have seen severe weather over and over this fall and spring," she said.

More than 1,600 people are out of their homes in the Chattanooga, Tenn. area as a result of flooding. This is coupled with the hundreds out of their homes in Jackson after this week's tornado hit that state.

In Georgia, at least 100 homes are flood-damaged in Troup County, 200 in Harris County, according to multiple reports from disaster responders.

Preliminary damage assessments indicate more than 250 homes and apartments affected by the flooding and tornadoes in Kentucky.

In Mississippi, tornadoes in Monroe and Chickasaw counties destroyed 51 homes and damaged nearly 200 more.

Alabama was also deluged, with damage assessments still drifting in.

In all the affected states, CWS was monitoring the situation and contacting member agencies to assess needs. In many locales, CWS partners were providing services such as spiritual care, meals and damage assessment.


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