New Jersey Bore the Brunt of the StormAt one point, over 2 million people were without power. Approximately 1.2 million still do not have full power. Another key concern is lack of fresh food for grocery stores and gasoline (half of NJ service stations are closed). Most barrier islands are still closed to civilian traffic. In many parts of the state, life is slowly returning to normal – stores are opening and schools are slowly getting back into session. The damage reports we have received reveal an “arc of damage” pattern. The storm battered the shore communities (but not uniformly; at least 2 churches in the direct path were not damaged), but it also delivered the most rain and highest winds to the communities north of the eye.
ABCNJ’s Church Damage Assessment
During the storm, the ABCNJ ministry team attempted to stay in touch with our 280 churches and 320 active clergy. Immediately after Sandy passed, we began reaching out to our people through every avenue of communication at our disposal – phones, email, IM, Constant Contact, Facebook and personal contacts. Our efforts have been hampered by loss of power in many communities. We have heard damage assessment reports from 108 churches (42%) from all 8 of our associations. We are actively attempting to hear from those who have not yet reported in.
As of FRIDAY MORNING, NOVEMBER 2, we have learned that 34 churches (12%) have suffered damage, ranging from minor (broken windows, one or two trees down) to moderate (roof damage, some flooding) to major (significant roof or water damage). Furthermore, the region’s Camp Lebanon suffered damage (broken doors and windows, downed trees and power lines). The Camp estimates it will lose over $20,000 in revenues from retreats cancelled over the next two weeks.
We estimate that between 20-30% of our churches may have suffered damage – about 70-90 churches. Many of our churches are trying to minister to their communities, and need assistance in meeting the needs of people without shelter, power, and food.
How Can My Church and I Help?
The best way to partner with ABCNJ as we help our churches recover from Hurricane Sandy is to contribute to One Great Hour of Sharing. ABCNJ has received an initial grant, which we will begin distributing immediately. Visit our regional website, www.abcnj.net, for regular updates.
Individuals may also use ABCNJ's online donation option to make an immediate donation. It is safe, secure and convenient. Go to our home page and scroll to the bottom to access our giving button!