Helping After Historic Floods in Texas

June 1, 2015 • United States

Samaritan's Purse is responding after record-breaking floods devastated communities in the Texas Hill Country

Samaritan’s Purse staff and volunteers are bringing aid and comfort in Hays County, Texas, where historical flooding impacted thousands of people.

More than 12 inches of rain inundated Central Texas in a 24-hour period between May 23-24. The downpour caused the Blanco River to crest at over 41 feet early Sunday, nearly 30 feet above flood stage. The deluge eclipsed a record set in 1929 when it rose to 32 feet.

READ MORE: An elderly Texas couple receives help from Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief volunteers following historic floods.

The Hays County cities of San Marcos and Wimberley suffered extensive damage.

Texas flood response

Samaritan’s Purse volunteers let homeowners impacted by the storm know that there is hope.

“It was indescribable,” said Alison Harla, whose home in Wimberley was flooded.

More than 400 homes were destroyed and over 1,000 were flooded. An estimated 1,200 people are homeless.

“Most of these homes had about 2 feet of water in them,” said Bruce Poss, the Samaritan’s Purse program manager for the response.

Staff and volunteers are working out of our base at Promiseland Church in San Marcos, helping storm victims by cleaning the mud out of flooded houses and removing waterlogged belongings, tearing out damaged sheetrock, insulation, and flooring, and spraying for mold.

Texas flood response

Volunteers pray before the start of the work day, asking God to work through them.

“They need the support and love from another person, to help them and be God’s hands and feet, to touch people’s lives,” volunteer Rachel Reyes said. “This gives us an opportunity to do that.”

We have received over 150 requests for help. Through the end of May, more than 900 volunteers had worked with us, bringing help and hope to storm victims.

“They were ready to come in, ready to help us,” said Josephine Torres, a homeowner in San Marcos. “They gave us hope. Jesus sent people to come. They want me to be a part of their family. That means so much for me.”

Texas flood response

Josephine Torres knew that Jesus sent the volunteers to help her.

Our teams work in conjunction with chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, bringing the hope of Christ to storm victims. Volunteers pray with the homeowners when the job is complete, and present them with a Bible signed by everyone who worked on the house.

“There were many stories of God’s hand at work,” Poss said. “Thanks for your continued prayer for this community, still hurting from these floods.”

U.S. Disaster Relief Samaritan's Purse mobilizes and equips thousands of disaster relief volunteers to provide emergency aid to U.S. victims of wildfires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. In the aftermath of major storms, we often stay behind to rebuild houses for people with nowhere else to turn for help.

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