Dec 14, 2021 | UM News

United Methodists in Kentucky, Tennessee and neighboring states are coming to terms with the devastation of a string of tornadoes Dec. 10-11, while also mobilizing quickly to provide food, emergency shelter and other relief.

The storm system that struck on Friday evening into Saturday morning — including one tornado that caused destruction across some 240 miles — is blamed for nearly 90 deaths.

Twisters sheared roofs and shattered windows at some United Methodist churches and parsonages, as well as badly damaging congregation members’ homes and local businesses.

“We will be dealing with the aftermath long after the media and social media reports have ceased,” Kentucky Conference Bishop Fairley said in a statement.

Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference Bishop William McAlilly was a district superintendent in the Mississippi Conference during Hurricane Katrina recovery, and on Dec. 12, he toured some of the hard-hit parts of Kentucky and Tennessee, with visits to three United Methodist churches and their communities.

“I’d say this is on a par with Katrina, in terms of damage done,” McAlilly said by phone.

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