“Three Members Lose Lives in Storm of Century,” Ensign, May 1993, 108
Three members of the Church lost their lives in a massive storm that spread across the eastern United States and Canada on March 12–13.
Levy Sapp, Jr., and his two children, five-year-old Levy and twenty-month-old Anissa, drowned in flooding at Dekle Beach, about twenty miles southwest of Perry, Florida. The Sapps, members of the Lake City (Florida) First Ward, were attending a family gathering with relatives of Brother Sapp’s wife, Melinda. Sister Sapp was one of only four survivors of the ten people in the beach house. She also lost her mother and brother in the storm.
According to Terrell H. McRae, the Sapps’ bishop, the family had been hoping to ride out the storm. By 1:00 A.M. on March 13, they tried to get out of the house, which was built on fifteen-foot pilings. Unfortunately, water had risen to about two feet underneath the floor, and the family was stranded. Sister Sapp survived because she clutched a floating board.
Funeral services for the family were held March 18 at the Lake City First Ward. At the family’s request, the other deceased family members were also eulogized in the funeral, although they were not members of the Church.
Elsewhere, members assessed the damage as ward home teachers helped Church leaders check on members who lived in the storm’s path of snow, winds, and tornadoes. The storm has been called one of the worst in this century.
Limited damage was reported to the meetinghouse in Homestead, Florida, but the damage has already been repaired by the contractor, who was already working on the building to repair damage sustained during Hurricane Andrew.
Church meetings were canceled in many areas hit by the storm, although in places where members used the subway for travel, meetings were still held. Many members were without power for a significant period of time.
The storm caused more than two hundred deaths and buried much of the eastern United States in up to three feet of snow.