Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez issued the following statement Sept. 2 on the destructive impact of storms associated with Hurricane Ida in the Philadelphia region on Sept. 1.
“Last week, Hurricane Ida ravaged Louisiana and the Gulf Coast with great loss of life and property. Last night, the Philadelphia region was overwhelmed by its remnants. This morning we awoke to historic flooding not seen in this area for over 150 years.
“Many neighborhoods in the City of Philadelphia and our suburban counties have been devastated. Tragically, lives have been lost to this natural disaster. The damage to residential and business property is only now being realized and will be immense in the final tally. At a time when so much hardship has already been created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are faced with new and difficult challenges.
“In the name of the bishops, priests, deacons, and religious of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, I express deep gratitude to our law enforcement, fire personnel, EMTs, and other first responders who have worked around the clock at great risk to rescue those who were trapped by flooding. I am also grateful to all those laboring to restore and maintain utilities and road networks for our benefit.
“I urge everyone to heed safety warnings being issued by their local authorities. While the flood waters may be receding, the swift currents and debris pose serious danger. Soon, the process of cleaning up and rebuilding will begin. We are a people of hope and we will prevail by trusting in God and caring for one another.
“Please join me in praying for everyone impacted by Hurricane Ida wherever it wreaked havoc. May God give them peace of heart in the face of uncertainty and wrap His mantle of protection around all those placing themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe.”
Most Rev. Nelson J. Pérez, D.D.
Archbishop of Philadelphia
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