After Terrible Flooding, Oregon Residents Need Help

February 17, 2020 • United States
Volunteers are busy working in Pendleton, Oregon, where heavy rains and snow melt have caused severe flooding.
Volunteers are busy working in Pendleton, Oregon, where heavy rains and snow melt have caused severe flooding.

Samaritan’s Purse has deployed to Umatilla County after deadly floodwaters swept through the region.

UPDATE: For a more recent article about our Oregon response, go here.

U.S. Disaster Relief

Residents of Umatilla County and other parts of northeastern Oregon suffered through historic flooding on Feb. 6 and 7. Hundreds of homes were damaged, while roads and bridges were washed out. A 62-year-old woman died as water swept through her property.

Two days of heavy rainfall, which caused rapid snow melt in the nearby Blue Mountains, led to the worst flooding in decades. Area families are relieved that waters are now receding, but months of difficult cleanup lie ahead.


In response, Samaritan’s Purse has deployed to the city of Pendleton, the county seat, and our base of operations is First Assembly of God. A disaster relief unit—a tractor trailer filled with supplies and equipment to help affected homeowners—was dispatched from our West Coast Ministry Center in Fullerton, California, and arrived on Sunday, Feb. 16. Staff and smaller vehicles are also on the ground.

Our volunteer teams, clad in distinctive orange shirts, are already assisting homeowners with tedious mud-outs. Ruined furniture and appliances, as well as flooring and walls, will have to be removed. This work represents time and money saved as homeowners must prepare for contractors to come in and do repairs.

Staff and volunteers serve affected homeowners free of charge, working in Jesus’ Name alongside of Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains. Every deployment opens up opportunities to share the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency for Umatilla County and two others in eastern Oregon on Feb. 7 and came to view damage firsthand and thank first responders on Feb. 14. During the height of flooding, the Oregon National Guard had to rescue dozens of people and several pets by helicopter.

You can bring relief to hurting homeowners by giving or volunteering. Please pray for residents of eastern Oregon as they continue to recover.

Note: This article was first published on Feb. 15 and updated on Feb. 17.

U.S. Disaster Relief Samaritan's Purse mobilizes and equips thousands of disaster relief volunteers to provide emergency aid to U.S. victims of wildfires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. In the aftermath of major storms, we often stay behind to rebuild houses for people with nowhere else to turn for help.

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