California: Massive winter storms kill 17, churches on standby to help
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Seventeen people were killed as a series of severe winter storms lashed California over the past week: churches have been on standby to help those affected by flooding, mudslides, and power outages, CBN News reports.
US President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency in a 17-county area of California as further bad storms are forecast.
Terrifying scenes played out as first responders worked to rescue people caught up in the storms: a woman and a girl had to be pulled out of a vehicle that fell into a giant sinkhole that appeared, CBN News reports.
In another incident, authorities in San Luis Obispo County said a 5-year-old boy was swept away in floodwaters, although his mother was rescued from their truck.
In a statement to CBN, Pastor Alan Cross of Petaluma Valley Baptist Church said churches are ready to help: “They’re just standing ready to help and open up for evacuations if needed and checking on their folks. We’re under these flood warnings for creek beds that were dry, and hillsides that had not received much rain at all are now at a place where land is giving way so we’re all just watching on edge,”
“I think the main thing is just praying for people to be aware of their neighbors and to have compassion,” Cross added. “That really is the role of the church is to see people in need, connecting with others, and just being that refuge where we can join hands together as a community.”
Weather forecasters predict seven areas will exceed flood stage within the next five days, with 20 more expected to exceed monitor stage, ENR California said in a report.
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