Baptist and Reflector
MOUNT JULIET — Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief is monitoring Hurricane Harvey closely.
As of Monday, Aug. 28, the Tennessee Baptist DR feeding unit was still on alert status while response/recovery units are on standby, said Wes Jones, disaster relief specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
Alert status means there’s a good likelihood the feeding unit will be called out quickly while it’s more of a “wait and see” scenario for the response/recovery units, Jones said.
During a conference call on Aug. 28, DR leaders were informed that many roads in Texas are not yet passable. Patience is the key word as large scale relief efforts probably will not occur until next week, according to national DR officials.
Jones agreed. “The rain is still falling and the water is rising in many parts of Texas and they are thinking that the storm will move up into Louisiana and Arkansas,” Jones said. “This storm is estimated to be larger than Hurricane Katrina. With that said, we will be busy for some time to go and assist in response and recovery.”
Jones stressed that Tennessee Baptist units are on alert. In an e-mail to DR leaders across the state, he wrote, “Encourage your people to rest and relax while they can and make sure the equipment is ready when the call comes.”
The Tennessee DR leader also encouraged Tennessee Baptists to “pray for this storm to move on and for the people being affected.”
More than 30,000 people will need shelters as a result of the unrelenting rains and flooding.
USA Today reported on Monday that Louis Uccellini, director of the National Weather Service, said some areas of southeast Texas around Houston have already seen more than 30 inches of rain. The storm is expected to dump an additional 15 to 25 inches of rain over the upper Texas coast and into southwestern Louisiana, according to USA Today, and will exacerbate the life-threatening, catastrophic flooding in the Houston area, the hurricane center said.
Thousands of search and rescue operations were underway as of Monday as the tropical storm continued to pour down on the Lone Star State.
Harvey is the first major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. in nearly a decade, U.S. News & World Report reported. Some isolated areas, including the Houston and Galveston metropolitan area, could accumulate up to 50 inches of rain.
At least five people have died since Harvey made landfall on Aug. 25 as a Category 4 hurricane, the National Weather Service reported.
As the waters continued rising to new heights, the greater Houston area and its nearly 6 million residents plunged into uncharted chaos, USA Today reported. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers began releasing water from the overfilled Addicks and Barker reservoirs in west Houston on Monday to avoid a collapse of the reservoirs’ dam.
For updates on the storm and relief efforts, visit the Baptist and Reflector site. If you would like to donate to the response effort, visit http://tndisasterrelief.org/contributions/.