NEW JERSEY, PHILADELPHIA CHURCH OF GOD—PCG members throughout the northeast United States felt the impact of Hurricane Sandy in late October. The New England and mid-Atlantic states were hit the hardest by the storm.
Sandy, a rare hybrid of three different storms, was the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, with a 1,100-mile diameter. The hurricane hit the Caribbean on October 24 and slammed into the New York area on October 29 before dissipating two days later.
Church members in the Northeast began to experience high wind and rain from Sandy starting on October 28. Wind speeds and rain increased the next day, and the storm made landfall in southern New Jersey that night with winds as high as 90 mph and dumping almost a foot of rain in some places.
The “storm of the century” caused major flooding, power outages, tree damage and deaths. A couple feet of snow were also dropped in parts of West Virginia and Virginia.
“It is clear God protected His brethren,” Pastor Cal Culpepper, the director of the region, said. Mr. Culpepper reported that none of the brethren were injured in the storm. One member’s home in New York City was partially flooded, and a couple others lost shingles from their roofs. That was the extent of property damage Church members experienced.
The major impact of the storm has been in the power and gasoline outages. “Amazingly, only one family out of all our New England brethren experienced a long power outage,” Mr. Culpepper said.
However, the situation in New Jersey has been worse. About a third of the North Jersey congregation lost power. Many waited five to seven days for the power to come back on. As of November 5, a few members still do not have power. More than 1 million people were still without power as of November 5. Power outages at work places have also prevented some hourly-employed members from working.
Mr. Culpepper reported that the local congregation was still able to have services the Saturday after the storm.
The power outages caused gasoline shortages throughout the area, affecting residents’ ability to drive. Stations without power are unable to sell gas. Many of the gas stations that do have power are out of gasoline or continue to have long lines of cars waiting to fill up.
Cold temperatures in the wake of the storm are also a concern, and a nor’easter moving toward the area could hamper recovery efforts.
“Considering the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy throughout the U.S. Northeast, it is clear God protected the brethren, even while this nation continues to be cursed,” Mr. Culpepper said. “Please continue to pray for the brethren who are without power.”