LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7)–¬†As Lynchburg is in full on preparation mode ahead of Hurricane Florence, many of the people living there are still in recovery mode.

The CIty of Lynchburg Disaster Recovery Group formed weeks after the April 15th tornado touched down in Lynchburg. The group focuses on long-term recovery and helps mostly uninsured or under-insured individuals affected by natural disasters.

“We are committed to recovery of those individuals as close as possible to their pre-existing conditions,” said Joan Phelps, leader of the CLDRG.

Tuesday the CLDRG briefed the community on what they have accomplished since May. The group has established bylaws, formed committees, identified partner agencies and secured a fiscal agent, the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation.

“It’s about connecting the dots and connecting them to the right agencies,” said Melissa Foster, Director of Lynchburg Department of Emergency Services.

While helping to rehouse 11 families post-tornado, the group was still getting on its feet. Eligibility criteria procedures were finalized one day in August.

“That was on a Thursday….and Thursday night was when the floods came,” said Phelps.

Even though it was a whirlwind, helping rehouse 20 flood victims came a little easier.

“We didn’t have to start from the beginning. We now knew how to get them connected to case managers,” said Foster.

The group is now focusing on the long term.

“However we may be doing some things real quickly,” said Phelps.

As Hurricane Florence approaches the coast, the possible impacts are on everyone’s minds. In the case that the storm does affect Lynchburg, the recovery group has a system to help.

“It’s going to be a challenging time and we will all be working together,” said Phelps.

The CLDRG has a volunteer position and a construction position still open. More information on the group can be found at:


To view the original article & video, click here.