HOUSTON As torrential rains caused Harvey-like damage throughout southeast Texas on Thursday, Sept. 19, Southern Baptists in Texas mobilized to serve the region. As of the time the Southern Baptist Texan went to press on Sept. 20, an SBTC team was on the ground in Houston and preparing for a statewide response to the damage caused by Tropical Storm Imelda on Thursday.
Four SBTC units headed to First Baptist Church of Vidor on Friday, Sept. 20, where their first task will be to clean up the church so it can serve as a base for future teams. Shower, feeding, and at least one mud-out unit will be among the teams who will be on site Friday afternoon.
The response comes after Tropical Storm Imelda hit the same general area as Hurricane Harvey did two years ago, causing many observers to draw parallels between both storms’ intensity and the impacted area. The storm was the first named storm to hit the Houston area since Harvey.
The Houston Chronicle attributes two drowning deaths already to a “relentless downpour” from Imelda. By Thursday night, flood waters had begun to recede. The Chronicle notes that Harris County officials had reported at least 1,700 high-water rescues and evacuations. Though the area had been bracing for the arrival of Imelda, its intensity and longevity surprised the region.
As of the Texan’s publication, SBTC Disaster Relief team members were beginning plans to gather and deploy more teams to the impacted region. All SBTC Disaster Relief units have been put on alert status for further deployment to southeast Texas.