Charleston, W.Va., Jun 28, 2016 / 13:30 pm
Heavy storms dumped more than nine inches of rain in much of West Virginia last week, with the resulting floods killing at least 25 people and damaging or destroying thousands of homes and businesses.
It's the worst flooding the state has seen in a least three decades. A federal disaster has been declared in three of the hardest hit counties, while a state of emergency has been declared in 44 of the state's 55 counties due to the floods.
Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of the diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, the only Catholic diocese in the state, offered Mass on Sunday for the victims of the flood, and released a statement calling for prayers.
"We pray for those affected by this natural disaster, including those who have lost their homes and livelihoods; those who do not have electricity, food or clean water and, most importantly, for those who are injured and have lost loved ones," Bishop Bransfield said. "Let us prayerfully remember those who died."
"As floodwaters rise and recede, I ask you to please join me in praying for the protection of the brave men and women who are working to bring relief to our neighbors," he added.