Hurricane Harvey Updates

Hurricane Harvey Updates

Latest News

September 14: Texans Heal with Helping Hands following Hurricane Harvey

September 8: Helping Hands and Convoy of Hope Team Up in South Texas

September 7: Mormon Helping Hands Clean Up Debris in South Texas

September 3: President Uchtdorf Visits Texas in Hurricane Harvey Aftermath

September 2: Church Provides Clean Water to Beaumont, Texas

September 1: First Presidency Encourages Mormons to 'Just Serve' Storm Victims

August 30: Mormons Partnering With Other Nonprofits to Help Houston

August 28: Floodwaters Breach Houston Temple

August 28: Missionaries Safe, Church Sending Water to Texas

August 25: Latter-day Saints Preparing for Hurricane Harvey

Texans Heal with Helping Hands following Hurricane Harvey
September 14, 2017 at 1:15 p.m. MDT

Hurricane Harvey unloaded record rainfall and caused unprecedented flooding across the coastal Texas region and southwest Louisiana. In its wake, Mormon Helping Hands canvassed the area with more than 10,000 volunteers this past weekend, with an additional 10,000 expected this weekend. Their service is a labor of love to help their friends and neighbors recover and heal from the impact of Harvey.

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Helping Hands and Convoy of Hope Team Up in South Texas
September 8, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. MDT

Due to recent flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, the city of Victoria, Texas, is among a number of south Texas cities who are under a boil-water notice from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. In response, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has sent truckloads of bottled water. Through a partnership with the faith-based Convoy of Hope and Mormon Helping Hands, volunteers are distributing the water to residents in the area.  

                                                                                                                         Downloadable 1080p video for journalists: B-rollSOTs

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Mormon Helping Hands Clean Up Debris in South Texas
September 7, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. MDT

While Houston received record rainfall from Hurricane Harvey, the eye of the storm crossed south Texas with destructive winds of 130 miles per hour. Mormon Helping Hands volunteers traveled from cities such as San Antonio to clean up debris and lift hearts.

                                                      Downloadable 1080p video for journalists: B-roll | SOTs 

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President Uchtdorf Visits Texas in Hurricane Harvey Aftermath
September 3, 2017

  

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints traveled to Houston, Texas, Sunday, September 3, 2017, to meet with members and tour areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey. President Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency; Bishop Gérald Caussé of the Presiding Bishopric; and Elder J. Devn Cornish of the Seventy attended a Church service with Latter-day Saints from four congregations who were affected by the flooding or assisting in the cleanup efforts.

President Uchtdorf extended the First Presidency’s love and support to those attending the sacrament meeting. "We love you, we bless you and we're here not to be in the way. We want to let you go and work."

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Church Provides Clean Water to Beaumont, Texas
September 2, 2017 at 11:30 p.m. MDT

Beaumont, Texas, a city of 118,000 residents east of Houston, lost access to fresh water following the failure of two water pumps on Thursday, August 31, 2017. The pumps were disabled due to flooding caused by four feet of rainfall from Hurricane Harvey. In response, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has delivered 2,500 cases or 60,000 bottles of water to hundreds of residents.

                                                                                                                                         Downloadable 1080p video for journalists: B-roll | SOTs

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First Presidency Encourages Mormons to 'Just Serve' Storm Victims
September 1, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. MDT

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

The still-unfolding disaster caused by the torrential rains of Hurricane Harvey has caught the attention of people throughout the United States. Our hearts go out to the thousands who have borne the brunt of this storm, and we are deeply grateful for the acts of unselfish service and the heroic efforts of first responders that have been reported. All who find themselves amid these grave difficulties are in our prayers.

Many are expressing interest in helping the thousands of people in the stricken communities in Texas and Louisiana. We are grateful for all who wish to assist in this effort. If you want to help, please consider the following:

  1. Donate toward the relief effort. Anyone wishing to provide support for the Church's effort to aid those in need is encouraged to donate to the Church's Humanitarian Fund here.
  2. Volunteer. Within the next few days or weeks, volunteers to assist in the massive cleanup effort will be needed, but with rescue efforts still underway, that time has not yet arrived. If you wish to participate, please do not call local Church leaders in Texas and Louisiana or travel to the affected areas right now. To learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities and receive information about needed assistance and its timing, we invite you to visit https://justserve.org/Houston.

We encourage your continued prayers in behalf of all who are affected by this natural disaster.

The First Presidency

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Mormons Partnering With Other Nonprofits to Help Houston
August 30, 2017 at 6:05 p.m. MDT

                                                                                                                                                              Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are partnering with other nonprofit organizations to provide flood relief to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Dallas, Texas, and surrounding areas.

                                                                                                                                       

Mormons in the area are also volunteering to evacuate people and provide temporary shelter. Church leaders have offered the use of Church buildings. At least three meetinghouses have been used to temporarily shelter evacuees. One building is being used as an operations center for ongoing boat rescues from flooded neighborhoods. Hundreds of Mormon Helping Hands volunteers are expected in Corpus Christi on Saturday for cleanup efforts.

As conditions will allow, missionaries throughout the region are beginning to help at local shelters. As floodwaters recede and larger community cleanup efforts begin, missionaries will join in those efforts. 

Nine trucks filled with supplies from the Church’s Bishops’ Central Storehouse and Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City have arrived or are on their way with water; hygiene kits; food, including fresh milk; cleaning supplies; clothing; diapers and wipes. One additional truck will also be sent to Houston.

The Church is also assisting the Red Cross and Convoy of Hope in their relief efforts to help the thousands of displaced people in Texas with food, water, cleaning kits and hygiene items. The Church is also partnering with Adventist Community Services in Houston.

Water and hygiene kits have been delivered to the San Antonio Food Bank and Red Cross. An estimated 30,000 evacuees are in shelters in that community.

The Church has provided funds, supplies and equipment and will work with its local ecclesiastical leaders to provide additional aid as needed.

As Tropical Storm Harvey hits Louisiana, additional funds have been sent to the area in anticipation of possible flooding in region.

Further assessments have been made at the Houston Texas Temple, where flooding has caused significant damage. In the temple basement water rose from nearly a foot deep to waist deep in some areas. The baptistry room was flooded to the top. On the main floor, several inches of water will require the replacement of carpet and furniture. 
         

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Floodwaters Breach Houston Temple
August 28, 2017 at 8:15 p.m. MDT

Rising floodwater as a result of Hurricane Harvey has breached the Houston Texas Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to the temple president.

                                                                                                                                         

“The creek became a river and the current is so strong that it’s been dangerous to even try and approach the temple," said Marshall Hayes, president of the Houston Texas Temple. He said nearby Cypress Creek rose by more than 20 feet.

“It appears water to the depth of four or five inches has gone inside the temple.” said President Hayes. “That includes a baptistry, a marriage waiting room, dressing rooms, kitchen and laundry. We haven’t been able to go inside so we really don’t know the extent of the damage.”

The temple, located in the community of Klein, has been closed since Saturday morning as the wind and rain approached the Houston area.

Plans to build the temple were announced September 30, 1997. Ground was broken on June 13, 1998 by President Gordon B. Hinckley. It was dedicated August 26, 2000.

The Houston Texas Temple serves Latter-day Saints in the greater Houston area and surrounding cities.

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Missionaries Safe, Church Sending Water to Texas
August 28, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. MDT     

The following information has been provided in response to the general public and media interest: 

  • All missionaries are safe, though several missions have been affected. Significant precautions were taken before Hurricane Harvey's arrival to help missionaries remain safe. Each companionship gathered enough food and water to shelter for several days. Some missionaries were moved out of areas where the greatest potential for flooding existed. Several companionships are in flooded areas, but are well and are in contact with their mission presidents. As flooding subsides and cleanup efforts begin, missionaries will be engaged in helping the communities where they serve. As is customary in times of crisis, mission presidents have asked missionaries to contact their families by email to let them know they're safe, and have provided updates to families, as possible, through the weekend.
  • The Texas Houston Temple is surrounded by water, but at this point has not flooded. One of the adjoining buildings has taken on some water. The temple closed on Saturday following the 11:00 a.m. session, and it's unknown when the temple will reopen.
  • Several local chapels have experienced water damage, and many worship services were cancelled on Sunday. As required, our buildings may be used as shelters or to stage relief and cleanup supplies, as determined by local leaders. Local leaders are working to identify the needs of those in their congregations and communities, and to care for those in need.
  • The Church on Friday began sending water, hygiene and cleanup kits to a regional bishop's storehouse near Houston. These supplies will be offered to any who are in need. We will continue to monitor the situation including the needs for additional supplies, resources and volunteers.
  • The Church partners regularly with other aid organizations in such situations. We will continue to work with community partners to assess and address needs following this disaster.
  • Church leaders, including President Russell M. Nelson (who was in Houston last year and met with Mayor Sylvester Turner), have reached out to offer messages of encouragement and to pledge our willingness to help in the recovery and cleanup efforts.
  • We are praying for the people of Texas and invite others to join us in those prayers. Anyone wishing to provide support for our efforts to aid to those in Texas is encouraged to make a donation to the Church's Humanitarian Fund, which can be found here.

Additional updates will be forthcoming.

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Latter-day Saints Preparing for Hurricane Harvey
August 25, 2017, 5:00 p.m. MDT

                                                                                                                                 

Downloadable 1080p video for journalists: B-roll SOTs

As Hurricane Harvey strengthens off the coast of Texas, Mormons are preparing to send food and other commodities to Houston. High winds and flooding could result from the hurricane that is expected to hit the middle Texas coast and stall over the state.

On Friday, August 25, 2017, workers at the Bishops’ Central Storehouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were busy loading pallets of water and other life-sustaining supplies on several trucks in Salt Lake City.

“We received a call from our headquarters, and they have asked us if we would put together some loads to go down and actually pre-position some of these supplies in that area,” said John Hopkins, manager of the Bishops’ Central Storehouse.

Three trucks left Friday morning for the bishops’ storehouse in Houston in case there is a natural disaster in Texas and residents need assistance.

“This is an opportunity, even though it's a very adverse situation and there will be people affected adversely, but this allows us all to come together,” said Hopkins. “It'll just simply be a community effort, and I'm grateful to be part of that, to be able to provide that assistance.”

Food and other supplies, stored at the state-of-the-art facility on Salt Lake City’s west side, are used to administer to the poor and needy through the Church’s welfare and humanitarian programs.

“I know when these supplies come, they're going to be received in a gracious way,” added Hopkins.

The bishops’ storehouse in Houston is one of more than 130 storehouses owned by the Church around the world. Those in need can receive assistance with the recommendation of a local bishop or Relief Society president.

The welfare program is funded by donations from Church members.

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