Religion

These NC Baptists haven’t forgotten Puerto Rico

NC Baptists helping out in struggling Puerto Rico

NC volunteers are in Puerto Rico clearing trees and treating water for residents still struggling after Hurricane Maria hit the island.
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NC volunteers are in Puerto Rico clearing trees and treating water for residents still struggling after Hurricane Maria hit the island.

Two teams of volunteers with N.C. Baptist Men and Women on Mission Disaster Relief are in Puerto Rico providing fresh drinking water and cutting and clearing fallen trees for residents who are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria.

The island was battered by the storm Sept. 20 and more than 1.2 million residents still have no power. Officials have said they hope to have electricity restored for about a third of Puerto Rico’s residents by the end of October, and for most of the population by mid-December.

The Cary-based Baptist group sent 20 volunteers to help in early October, and divided them into two teams, one working with chainsaws and the other with portable water purification systems.

Last week, the group sent 7,000 pounds of water filters, buckets, MREs, batteries, tarps and other supplies from its Red Springs Mission Camp to Florida, where the items were loaded onto a cargo plane from another relief group, Missionary Flights International. The plane delivered the goods to Puerto Rico on Saturday.

Gaylon Moss, volunteer coordinator for the Baptists, said members of the teams came from across North Carolina. Teams also have been working in Texas, which saw record flooding from Hurricane Harvey, and Florida, which took a hit from Hurricane Irma.

At least 48 deaths in Puerto Rico have been blamed on Hurricane Maria, and more than 100 other people are missing.

Martha Quillin: 919-829-8989, @MarthaQuillin

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