Houston Measuring Rain in Feet Not Inches
Houston area United Methodists are braced for clean-up once the flood waters recede after what is being described as one of the worst disasters in US history. Three people have been reportedly killed in flood waters and thousands of people have been rescued in the flood waters.
Dr. Greg Postel, meteorologist and hurricane specialist for The Weather Channel, said the flooding unfolding in the Houston area “could be the worst flooding disaster in U.S. history;” and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, appearing on Fox News Sunday, said: “We're measuring rain these days not in inches but in feet.”
Most Houston area United Methodist Churches worshipped online today because people were either stranded in their homes or pastors wanted to keep folks off the roads, says Texas Conference Bishop Scott Jones. “The flooding is widespread in the Houston area. There is not one area that has not been affected. I am praying for all involved,” he says.
Andrew Wolfe, Associate Pastor at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Houston is one pastor that has lost his home and both cars. “We are really close to Bray’s Bayou and the water rose very quickly. The rain and flood waters have not let up. Everything is our area is flooded from front-door to front-door.” Wolfe just moved into his home weeks ago,and did purchase flood insurance, but with the 30-day waiting period he is not sure if his home will be covered.“Our family is safe and that is the most important thing,” he says.
Scott Moore, Texas Conference Disaster Response Director says this is the first time the National Weather Service has ever issued a Flash Flood Emergency for Catastrophic Life Threatening Flooding. Moore expects long term clean up to take years and needs all hands on-deck as soon as it is safe to begin clean up. “This is a great time for everyone to be the hands and feet of Christ,” Moore says. He says churches across the nation can help by sending donations directly to United Methodist Committee on Relief Domestic Disaster Response Advance #901670.
“We are currently looking for local churches in every area of Houston to be day and evening shelters and for volunteers to go and muck and gut homes,” he says. For more information on this, contact your local church.
Mayor Turner has asked local churches to open-up their doors as shelters to get people out of the rain. It does not have to be an overnight situation, just a place to get dry and take a deep breath. “If you need cots for overnight shelter, the Mission Center in Conroe, Texas has 300 cots available to transform your church into an overnight shelter,” Moore says.
The Texas Conference is asking every United Methodist to help. There are so many areas in the Texas Conference as well as the Rio Texas Conference and that have been affected, says Moore. “We need a hub church in every area that has flood damage to step up and help.We have so much damage this disaster is going to take everyone working together.”