Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries agents pray before heading out for relief efforts in Texas, which has been hit hard by Harvey. (Scott Mathews, Facebook photo)

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries agents pray before heading out for relief efforts in Texas, which has been hit hard by Harvey. (Scott Mathews, Facebook photo)

As Tropical Storm Harvey continues to slowly make its way up southeast Texas, Louisiana Baptist Disaster Relief State Director Gibbie McMillan is joining others around the country in urging prayers, donations and volunteers to help thousands of residents affected.

“With all the flooding in Texas we must remember that a year ago many Texans came to Louisiana to help,” McMillan said. “And they sent thousands of dollars as well to help us. Now, it is time to pay it back.

“They didn’t ask us to give but they did,” he continued. “Now, we must respond in like manner. That is how Christian brothers and sisters act. They show the love of Christ.”

Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas as a Category 4 hurricane late Friday night, but downgraded to a tropical storm by Saturday. The hurricane center in its Sunday update the tropical storm has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and remains stationary about 45 miles northwest of Victoria, Texas.

At least five deaths and more than a dozen injuries were reported by Sunday afternoon in Harvey’s aftermath.rHarve
In Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, rescue personnel made more than 1,200 rescues and were answering thousands of calls from people trapped in the city due to catastrophic flooding.

Heavy rain continued to pour over Houston early Sunday afternoon, with some downtown areas knee-deep in water, and shut down portions of highways flooded with as much as 10 feet of water.

The National Weather Service reported in its afternoon update hourly rain totals up to 3 inches presently is falling with local amounts to 7 inches expected. This will bring local storm total accumulations to 35 inches.

Rain totals over the past 48 hours have reached 27 inches in Southeast Harris County with amounts closer to 12 inches in northern and Western Harris County. Volume wise the present totals have reached the rainfall that fell during Hurricane Allison in June 2001 and it continues to rain.

McMillan said Louisiana’s teams are assessing the situation as they prepare to help Texas residents.

Louisiana State University Baptist Collegiate Ministry Director Steve Masters, whose seasoned chainsaw disaster relief team is among those on alert, urged others to pray for those directly affected, as well as law enforcement officials and government leaders. He added donations of money, equipment and man power will be needed in the weeks ahead.

“Consider making a financial contribution,” Masters wrote on his Facebook page. “Local SBC associations and SBC State Conventions will be sending their feeding, showers and laundry units to the affected areas. It costs money to do so.

“You can donate directly to them and the money will be used wisely. You may want to make a designated contribution to your church for Hurricane Harvey help,” continued Masters who sustained heavy damage to his home in last year’s historical floods. “Pam and I were very grateful we received all four types of help after our house flooded. Our prayers are with those who have been or will be affected by this storm.”

Masters said he would be happy to answer questions or help put people in contact with DR leaders or churches. You can email him at lsubcm@eatel.net.

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SOURCE: The Louisiana Baptist Message