Beloved in Christ,
I am receiving so many kind messages, I wanted to use this forum to update everyone on our status at Christ Church Parish, Kent Island.
The F2 Tornado passed about a mile north of Christ Church and Camp Wright at 1:29 am Monday morning. It was on the ground for about 4 minutes and is estimated to have been about 150 yards wide. It struck Bay City (on the right as you drive south from Route 50) and then crossed Romancoke Road where it also did significant damage to Ellendale. The tornado crossed then Route 50 right about Cracker Barrel and also did significant damage to the Stevenville Cemetery on Cox Creek. Some of you may have seen the damage done to the metal electrical poles just north of Rt 50.
Astonishingly, even though the tornado passed through what is arguably the most populous neighborhood on the island, there was only one serious injury and no fatalities! Sadly many homes have been damaged or destroyed. Cleanup in the neighborhoods is just getting started. Much of the Island (including the rectory) remains without power.
The first phone call I received this morning was from Santosh our bishop. Less than an hour later, the Tenth Bishop of Easton called from Canada with his love and concern. Kevin Cross, President of the Standing Committee and Canon Patrick Collins have been in constant contact.
I have already received offers of aid from all points on the map. We will only begin to accept limited offers once the damage has been assessed. As many of you know, keeping county roads accessible during disasters is a major concern. Romancoke Road (Route 8) is the only road that services Christ Church, Camp Wright and hundreds of homes to the south on the island. We are working to keep access open for first responders and recovery vehicles. I have seen Red Cross vehicles in the area.
Please share our gratitude with your congregations: Gratitude to God who protected the lives of the 8,000 souls on Kent Island; Gratitude to firefighters, sheriffs, emts and all those who drive towards disaster; and Gratitude for you, our sisters and brothers in Christ. Just 12 hours before the storm we heard in Church from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans: “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.” That is the proper perspective.
It has been a hard day on Kent Island, but our difficulties are just a sliver of the daily suffering experienced by mothers and fathers, children and the elderly: in Syria, South Sudan, Afghanistan and countless other troubled lands and cities.
Strengthen your neighborhood networks.Strengthen your bonds with Santosh, our Bishop and the 38 congregations of our diocese. There is glory to be revealed as the world watches and says, “See how these Christians love one another”.
The Rev. Mark S. Delcuze, Rector
Christ Church Parish, Kent Island