Billy Graham Rapid Response Team deploys to historic Michigan flood

Chaplain Donna Lamb from the Billy Graham Evangelical Association ministers to a flood victim in Sanford,MI on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. The area behind Lamb used to be a popular public park. (Dale G Young, 2020)

View Photo Gallery

RRT Press Kit

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 22, 2020 – The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) has deployed crisis-trained chaplains to Midland County, Michigan, where they will provide emotional and spiritual support alongside Samaritan’s Purse after a pair of failed dams caused severe flooding.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an emergency declaration late Tuesday and urged close to 10,000 people to evacuate. After the dams breached, the Tittabawassee River crested at 35 feet, 10 feet above flood stage and more than a foot above the old record of 33.9 feet set in 1986.

“While we are thankful that the Tittabawassee River didn’t crest as high as expected, we are deeply saddened for all of those who sustained damage from this historic flooding,” said Josh Holland, assistant director of the RRT. “Our prayers are with the community and we are sending our chaplains to listen, talk and pray with those who have been impacted and to share the hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ.”

Midland City Manager Brad Kaye said this about the historic flood: “While the 1986 flood was a 100-year flood, what we’re looking at here is an event that is the equivalent of a 500-year flood. It’s something that is extremely rare, extremely catastrophic and quite dangerous.”

The RRT has now responded to 20 disasters since January 1, 2020, including flooding in Jackson, Mississippi, and Pendleton, Oregon.

For more information on the ministry, including videos, photos, news articles and an interactive map of former and current deployments, visit BillyGraham.org/RRT. Updates can also be found at Facebook.com/RRTChaplains.

About the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team:
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team was developed by Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It has since grown into an international network of chaplains in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia who are specifically trained to deal with crisis situations. They have deployed to more than 450 disaster sites across the globe, including shootings, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes.

– 30 –