Hurricane Harvey has been and continues to be a unique storm system. Making landfall at Rockport TX (just north of Corpus Christi) as a Category 4 and bringing wind and rain two to three hundred miles from its center, Harvey has made its presence known. Having stopped movement, the feeder bands from this storm have trained relentlessly over the northeast section of the Texas Coast, including Houston and surrounding communities dumping record amounts of rain measured by the foot. The reach of this storm has been growing to include Austin, San Antonio and a large section of East Texas. In all, an estimated 212 LCMS congregations and members (in the tens of thousands) have been impacted. Before the storm made landfall, many pastors and church workers and members evacuated to higher ground. They have not been allowed to return as yet. Most of the church services have been canceled on August 27 and emergency officials are telling residents who did not evacuate to shelter in their homes, even if their home is flooded.
The rain is forecast to continue and heavy rates of downfall. Property owners and volunteer services may not be allowed into their areas until Thursday, August 31 or Friday, September 1. It simply is not safe. For now, airports are closed and roads are impassable. The only significant movement in communities both large and small are emergency management.
The Strom has moved Southeast and is not threatening Southwest LA. Flooding is expected in the Lake Charles area.
The Southern District has been in close contact with the Texas District to offer our response resources and coordinate efforts.
What can you do?
- First and foremost, your prayers are requested.
a. Pray for emergency management personnel and first responders.
b. Pray for the encouragement of property owners and renters.
c. Pray for disaster relief organizations (that they make wise decisions)
- Consider donating dollars to assist in the relief efforts. The needs of church workers, congregation members, and communities will be enormous. You can donate through the Southern District.
- please wait until there is a clear call for volunteers. That time has not yet come!