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Hands needed in South Bend

Michigan’s neighbors in Indiana are in need of trained Early Response volunteers to assist in flood relief.


An “historic rainfall” pelted northern Indiana on August 15. It had disastrous impact on the city of South Bend. About 1,000 homes were flooded, with more than 100 already declared total losses.

“It was worse than what we had anticipated,” said the Rev. Mike Irvine, acting disaster response coordinator for the denomination’s Indiana Conference.

Two $10,000 grants from the United Methodist Committee on Relief have been approved this week that will assist the conference in responding to the twin disasters.

In South Bend, assessment and cleanup has begun. Irvine, the senior pastor of Linton United Methodist Church, west of Bloomington, said the North Central Jurisdiction’s disaster response coordinator put out a request for Early Response Teams for South Bend. In response, he received calls from Michigan, Ohio and Illinois. Aug. 30 was the first day to have a United Methodist team “be boots on the ground” there.

“There will be a definite need for long-term recovery,” he said. “After the ERT phase, you’re probably looking at a good 18 months.”

The Indiana Conference Disaster Response Team are still connecting with the people of South Bend to continue the work necessary to move forward. The needs are great and more hands are needed.

The area is in great need of trained Early Response Teams and trainings are being facilitated for volunteer teams that are interested in being certified.

Trainings and home base for ERTs responding to the needs in this area have been established at Clay United Methodist Church, 17646 Cleveland Road, South Bend, IN 46635. Overnight housing is available at Clay UMC with prior arrangements.

For more information on each need, click the link below: 


Michiana Flood Relief

For questions or information, please contact Beth McDaniel, VIM Coordinator, at [email protected] 317.695.7303 or Mike Irvine, Interim Disaster Response Coordinator, at [email protected].

To register a team or request overnight accommodations, please contact Beth or Mike to let them know number of men/women, number of ERT certified vs. non certified, etc.

Please note that a minimum of 1 per 8 in group must attend Assessment Training and conduct assessments Thursday and Friday. Also, remember NO ONE under 18 years old may serve on an Early Response Team.

Last Updated on October 30, 2023

The Michigan Conference