Catholic United aiding storm recovery near Brainerd

| July 17, 2015 | 0 Comments
From left, Myron Pauly, deployment coordinator at Catholic United Response, works with another volunteer to clean up fallen trees in the Brainerd area after a storm July 12. Photo courtesy of Catholic United Financial

From left, Myron Pauly, deployment coordinator at Catholic United Response, works with another volunteer to clean up fallen trees in the Brainerd area after a storm July 12. Photo courtesy of Catholic United Financial

Representatives from Catholic United Financial in Roseville arrived in the Brainerd area July 15 to aid clean up efforts after severe weather July 12 damaged homes, vehicles, docks and resorts in the area.

A disaster-relief arm of the organization called Catholic United Response sent a trailer with chain saws and safety equipment to help remove debris left in the wake of the storm, which featured winds up to 80 mph.

“There’s so much damage they just don’t know where to start,” said Bob Heuermann, executive director of the Catholic United Financial Foundation, which runs the response unit. “We come in with a bunch of hands. We’ve got all the tools, all the safety equipment.”

Heuermann, deployment coordinator Myron Pauly and a handful of Catholic United Financial employees have been working in the area to remove trees and other debris.  They started at North Star Camp near Brainerd, a kids and family camp run by the Seventh-Day Adventists, and then went to Nisswa area to work in residential neighborhoods. Heuermann, the trailer and some of the volunteers will be there through at least July 20, he said.

“If feels wonderful,” Heuermann said. “If you’ve never been in a disaster of this magnitude or greater, you really don’t know what it’s like, that feeling of helplessness [of the victims]. They get so overwhelmed that they don’t even know where to start. We come in and they are often in tears.”

Catholic United Financial began deploying crews for disaster relief in 2011, when it purchased a trailer and sent a crew to north Minneapolis to help with cleanup after a tornado went through the area. Last summer, volunteers spent 23 days in Minot, North Dakota, and did some cleanup in the metro area after some homes were flooded after heavy rains.

For more information on the organization’s disaster relief or to donate, visit catholicunitedfinancial.org.

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