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Presbyterians mobilize to help the people of Texas recover after Hurricane Harvey 

Storm continues to drench parts of the state with heavy downpours

By Rick Jones and Kathy Francis | Presbyterian News Service

Flooding in Houston from Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 27. (Photo by PDA National Response Team member Val Aldred)

As news comes in on the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is organizing a response that will help sustain life and restore hope in the coming days.

“Our hearts break and rise up in prayer for the people of Texas,” said the Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, PDA director. “Right now, we need the church’s prayers and financial assistance.”

The Category Four hurricane struck Texas on Friday night packing winds at 134 mph and had gradually downgraded to a tropical storm by Saturday afternoon with winds at 60 mph. Authorities say the storm could drop 20 to 30 inches of rain between Corpus Christi and Houston.

As of midday Sunday, the death toll from Harvey stood at two with numerous injuries and catastrophic devastation to homes and businesses along its path. The search for survivors continues. Forecasters say the storm has practically stalled and isn’t expected to start moving off to the northeast until Wednesday, further complicating rescue efforts.

Kraus and her colleagues in the Presbyterian Mission Agency and throughout the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are working with partners to meet immediate needs and support long-term recovery. PDA remains in constant contact with leadership in New Covenant, Mission and South Louisiana Presbyteries.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is the emergency response and refugee program of the denomination, committed to the long-term journey of recovery of communities adversely affected by a crisis or catastrophic event. It is funded by the One Great Hour of Sharing and has designated funds for responding to specific disasters.

To support recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, click here. You’ll be taken to the PC(USA) website to donate securely and quickly.

If you prefer to mail a check (please designate Disaster Relief–U.S. Hurricane Response, DR000169), you may send it to:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700

You may also call 800-872-3283 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EDT), and donate by phone.

Visit for continuing updates.

Updates from the field

Hurricane Harvey flooding in Houston. (Photo by PDA National Response Team member Val Aldred)

HOUSTON – (Sunday, Aug. 27) The following is a series of quotes from National Response Team member Val Aldred. Val is a resident of Houston and is chair of the Presbytery Disaster Committee:

“Basically the whole city is under water.”

“We hope the drainage system can handle all the water but we will see.”

“Even firetrucks are unable to pass through many roads.”

In response to the question, what can we do? “Pray for it to stop raining.”

“Right now in neighborhoods people are helping each other anyway they can.”

Val lives in West Houston — specifically the Energy Corridor.

Hurricane Harvey flooding in Houston (Photo by PDA National Response Team member Val Aldred)

Val has also been in touch with the lead of the PDA team prepared to deploy to New Covenant Presbytery tentatively on Wednesday. Val will coordinate efforts between the PDA deployed team and the Presbytery Disaster Committee.







Hurricane Harvey videos in Houston

By PDA National Response Team member Val Aldred

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

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