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TOMBALL, Texas — The LDS Church’s Cypress Stake Center will become a command post for Harvey cleanup efforts after being used as an impromptu shelter and boat rescue operations center earlier this week.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are working with other nonprofit organizations to provide flood relief to Harvey victims in Houston, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Dallas 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 set up to temporarily shelter evacuees. Hundreds of Mormon Helping Hands volunteers are expected to turn out Thursday in the Houston area for cleanup as well as farther south in Corpus Christi on Saturday.
In Klein, members of the church’s Klein Stake gathered early Thursday to get their work assignments in neighborhoods throughout the community. On Wednesday, church members assembled new wheelbarrows and gathered Otter sleds, shovels, brooms, gloves, bleach and disinfectant to prepare for the house guttings.
“The first thing that we could be doing is to help muck out the homes, tear out the dry wall, the carpet, just letting it dry before all the mold sets,” said Klein Stake President Rob Ellis.
Church members in the area — who have also provided relief after floods in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and east Texas — stand ready to help, he said.
“Now we’re just reminding people that God has not forgotten us. This is our time to stand and to love and be loved, serve and be served,” said President Ellis, who was called as stake president four months ago.
Missionaries in the region are starting to help at local shelters. As floodwaters recede and larger community cleanup efforts begin, missionaries will join in those efforts, according to Mormon Newsroom. At least two sister missionaries jumped into the action Wednesday helping a family in Klein.
Nine trucks filled with supplies from the church’s Bishop’s Central Storehouse and Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City have arrived or are on their way with water, hygiene kits, food, fresh milk, cleaning supplies, clothing, diapers and wipes, according to the church. Another truck will also be sent to Houston.
The LDS 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 working 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, according to Mormon Newsroom.
Also, more 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 baptistery room was flooded to the top. On the main floor, several inches of water will require the replacement of carpet and furniture, according to the church.
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