Samaritan’s Purse heads to Texas as floodwaters continue to rise

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The rivers keep rising as heavy rains continue to inundate large parts of Texas.

“I wish I could describe Texas rain to you,” Hannah Lechmann, a Houston native said. “Our raindrops are huge. And in places where the soil is harder, the ground just doesn’t know how to hold water.”

The San Jacinto River has reached 52 feet, almost three feet above flood stage, according to Kim Jackson from the Harris County Flood Control District.

“We’re advising residents to take any measures that they deem appropriate for their safety as the river continues to rise,” Jackson said.

The flooding has already damaged more than 800 homes in Houston and thousands more in Central Texas.

In the city of San Marcos, Promiseland Church is partnering with Samaritan’s Purse in an intense relief effort. Hundreds of volunteers from across the country are staying in the church’s building and going out daily to help with clean up.

“If we have a strong volunteer response we can wrap things up sooner, but if we have a weak volunteer response it could go into July,” said Tim Haas, manager of U.S. disaster relief for Samaritan’s Purse.

The volunteer teams are working on mud-outs of flooded houses, helping residents remove everything that is wet or damaged. It is mostly hard work of lifting water-logged carpet and flooring and getting it out to the curb so the house can dry out, Haas said.

The record-breaking amount of rain this month has proven disastrous for many communities. And while relief is flying in, the threat is not over. Throughout Harris County, which includes Houston, officials are asking residents to evacuate.

— by Margaret Tazioli

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