Kentucky Catholic Charities Coordinates National Aid Amid Devastating Floods | National Catholic Register
The flooding began with heavy rain on July 27, bringing widespread flooding to at least five eastern Kentucky counties over the weekend.
Amid record flooding in Kentucky that left at least 30 people dead, Catholic Charities of Lexington is working with other Christian churches as well as Catholic Charities USA to provide relief to those affected.
Edward Bauer, director of communications for the Diocese of Lexington, told CNA that none of the churches or facilities in the diocese suffered significant damage, but communities surrounding many parishes have been devastated and need help, with many homes and businesses flooded.
The flooding began with heavy rain on July 27, bringing widespread flooding to at least five eastern Kentucky counties over the weekend. At least 18,000 people were left without power on Monday, and reports suggest entire towns – many of them in already poor areas – were inundated. Governor Andy Beshear described the disaster as one of the worst in state history.
Catholic churches in the diocese have a strong collaborative partnership with other Christian communities, Bauer said, because with only 3% to 4% of the population, the majority of people in Eastern Kentucky are non-Catholic, in especially in the countryside. He said Catholic communities in rural Kentucky were working to provide whatever help they could to the poor and needy, adding that another major issue was that the water supply had been cut off. He said the director of parish life at Notre Dame du Bon Conseil in Hazard, Ky., told him they might not have clean water for weeks.
Several other dioceses have contacted the Bishop of Lexington — unsolicited — to offer to take on a second collection for flood relief, Bauer said. He also said the Catholic Charities office in Lexington has been in close contact with Catholic Charities USA, working to coordinate national relief efforts.
The best way for people of goodwill to help is to donate cash, as needs are constantly changing, he said, which can be done through the local Catholic charities website. Cash donations also allow local Catholic charities to invest that money locally in small businesses, further contributing to a community’s recovery, Bauer said.