Dozens of Houston Jewish Community Families Displaced in ‘Catastrophic’ Flooding
(JTA) — At least five people are reported dead in Houston as rain and winds from Hurricane Harvey hit the city and for the third time in three years, dozens of Jewish families in Houston had to be evacuated or moved to the second floors of their homes due to flooding, the local Jewish Family Service said.
Some 150 neighborhood blocks in the city that are home to members of the Jewish community have been damaged in floods as part of the hurricane, the JFS said in a conference call with community leaders, the Texas Jewish Herald-Voice reported.
Many of the families affected by the floods also were flooded out in 2016 and 2015. Some of the families have flood insurance and others do not, according to the report.
The Evelyn Rubenstein JCC reported suffering flood damage. Prior to the hurricane it had collected emergency supplies and will serve as a distribution center for the community. The Jewish Family Service also reported flood damage, as did at least three Houston synagogues.
And, at press time, more rainfall and flooding were expected.
The Jewish Federations of North America have opened an emergency relief fund to support communities and individuals in Houston, San Antonio, Galveston, Corpus Christi and other areas in Texas that have been hammered by Hurricane Harvey.
The hurricane first made landfall on the evening of August 25 near Corpus Christi, about 200 miles southwest of Houston.
At least three people have been confirmed dead in the flooding.
Some isolated areas were expected to receive up to 50 inches of rain when it was all said and done, including in the Houston-Galveston metropolitan area.
Houston residents who were not in a safe place were evacuated from their homes by boats and helicopters. Many were taken to makeshift shelters, since the emergency shelters prepared for the natural disaster proved not to be enough. ■