Cheek is located seven miles southwest of Beaumont in central Jefferson County, Texas. While the population in Cheek is quite small, surrounding Jefferson County has a diverse population of 250,000.
Hurricane Ike struck Galveston, Texas September 13, 2008 and continued north into the Galveston and Trinity Bays before making landfall just west of Cheek. By some estimates Ike was the third most costly storm in US history. Its huge size caused massive flooding from Galveston eastward affecting almost the whole Louisiana coastline. Galveston and other coastal areas were devastated. Cheek had large numbers of fallen trees and damaged roofs, and the nearby town of Oak Island, situated on the bay, was largely destroyed.
A portion of the Ford County Park, approximately nine miles west of Cheek, will serve as the MDS RV camp. An office trailer will be pulled in with facilities for meeting, laundry and office space. County officials have helped secure the location. MDS is partnering with the Southeast Texas Interfaith Organization for Disaster Recovery, a local organization that identifies clients in need and secures funding for the rebuilding projects. Most of the work in Cheek will consist of small home repairs.
On September 29, 2009 a tsunami hit Samoa and American Samoa. The tsunami was triggered by an earthquake that was centered about 120 miles south of the island nation of Samoa and American Samoa, a U.S. territory with a population of approximately 65,000.
Four tsunami waves 15 to 20 feet high hit the shore on American Samoa about 15 minutes after the quake, reaching up to a mile inland.
MDS will be located near Leone, one of the heavily damaged areas of the Island. The camp has two small houses. One house will accomodate the office, kitchen and dining area.
MDS is working with the American Samoa VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), FEMA and other relief agencies.
To view a FEMA video highlighting the work in American Samoa and the involvement of MDS, click here: FEMA VIDEO