Hurricane Harvey hit the southern coast of Texas on August 25, 2017. Governor Greg Abbot of Texas has branded it “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced.” Although the storm quickly lost strength, the exceptionally high rainfall levels are leaving a path of destruction. The eastern coastal regions of Texas have been greatly affected by the damaging winds and rising flood waters. Ongoing catastrophic and life-threatening flooding will continue as the storm moves across southeastern Texas and Louisiana.
Hundreds of thousands of people are currently under evacuation orders. The death toll is at 33 and expected to grow as the flood waters recede. Over 16,000 people are in shelters and that number is expected to rise to 30,000. Early estimates of the cost of Harvey are as high as $160 billion, which will make it the costliest natural disaster in US history. A large portion of these losses will be sustained by uninsured homeowners.
The Adventist Community Services (ACS) is the designated emergency response organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for disasters that occur in the United States. Shortly after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, ACS began to organize a response in collaboration with ADRA, local and federal agencies, the Red Cross, the United Parcel Service, and other relief agencies.
By Wednesday, August 30, ACS was already on the ground providing clothing, hygiene kits and blankets. Southwestern Adventist University, local Adventist conferences, and churches are joining together to support the relief efforts. The major needs are support for the people living in shelters, hygiene kits, flood cleanup and supplies, distribution areas, backup generators and laundry facilities.
We ask that you join us in praying for all of those affected by this tragedy and the emergency responders who are working tirelessly to save lives.