Saturday, Aug. 26; 3PM EST
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas last night at 10pm local time as a category 4 hurricane, causing flooding and structural damage in towns along the coast. The mayor of Rockport, where the eye of the hurricane crossed, has reported “widespread devastation.” Nearly 300,000 power outages have been reported, and may last for days. President Trump has issued a federal disaster declaration for the state, and Texas Governor Abbott has named 50 counties in a state disaster declaration.
Winds have weakened since landfall and the hurricane has been downgraded to a tropical storm. The primary concern right now is flooding within the next few days as heavy rainfall of three feet or more is expected. Water levels in bayous, reservoirs, and waterways are already rising. Two tornadoes have also been reported south and west of Houston, damaging multiple business and approximately 50 homes. Several other tornado warnings continue.
Week of Compassion will continue to monitor the storm and reach out to Disciples communities and our partners. If you are interested in helping, the best immediate response from afar is three-fold: pray, stay, and donate.
Pray. Keep the people who are in the path of the storms, for the rescuers and first responders who will be working on the ground in your prayers as the storm continue into the next few days..
Stay put. Out of concern and a desire to be useful, you may want to go and help. Now is not the time! The situation is dangerous and is ongoing. Volunteers at this time put themselves at risk and create additional challenges for rescue and emergency crews. Volunteer opportunities will come later for clean-up and long-term recovery.
Donate. You can donate at http://www.weekofcompassion.org and designate US Storms where 100% of your gifts will go to help communities rebuild after storms such as Hurricane Harvey.
God of Noah’s rain and the psalmist’s morning dew; Jesus, our water-walker and storm-stiller; Spirit of mighty wind and word who moves the tides of creation’s seas and the hearts of those drenched in baptismal waters: Protect those in Hurricane Harvey’s path. Provide comfort to those who suffer loss. Grant safety and courage to those who respond to victims of flood, fire, and injury. Sustain all our hearts with compassion for our neighbors and with hope of days filled with sunshine and gentle breezes. Amen.