Episcopal Relief & Development Responds to Hurricane Harvey

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting emergency relief efforts of affected dioceses in Texas following Hurricane Harvey, which hit the Texas coast as a category 4 storm when it made landfall on August 25 and became the largest rainstorm in US history. To date, 30 deaths have been reported, and the storm has caused massive flooding and destruction and forced thousands from their homes.

In partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, Episcopal Relief & Development is responding to the immediate needs of people in the Greater Houston area, including Galveston. With this support, the diocese will provide temporary housing for 50 families, recruit volunteers to help clean out homes and deploy trained, spiritual care teams to reach out to people evacuated to the George R. Brown Convention Center and in other hard-hit areas. These teams are also distributing gift cards to help with purchasing food, basic supplies and necessities. The organization’s US Disaster Program staff has been in regular contact with affected dioceses in Texas and Louisiana.

“Our church partners are providing critical assistance and caring for their neighbors in the aftermath of this devastating storm,” said Robert W. Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief & Development. “I am deeply grateful to them and to our community of faithful supporters for their compassion and enormous generosity.”

The storm has complicated relief activities. More than 50 inches of rain has fallen since Harvey first hit the Texas coast, equivalent to the state’s total annual rainfall. Although downgraded to a tropical storm and then to a tropical depression, heavy rain continues to fall as the National Weather Service warns that “catastrophic and life threatening flooding continues in Southeastern Texas and portions of Southwestern Louisiana.” While rains have ended in most of Texas, the complete impact has yet to be determined as the storm continues to linger, with dams overtopping and streets and highways overwhelmed with flooding.

“Our response to Hurricane Harvey is ongoing and we are extremely proud of the work of our church partners who are meeting urgent needs in these early days,” said Katie Mears, Director of Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program. “As they continue to conduct assessments locally, we stand…

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