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Harvey (junior) Update

Bob’s Harvey Update #34
October 20, 2017

Early this morning a band of thunderstorms dumped nearly seven inches of rain directly on Friendswood, including 4.5 inches between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. As a result the team from Minnesota who were sleeping in our Sunday School building found themselves in a re-enactment of the Harvey flooding. Water rose against both sides of the building and came in to several of the classrooms and the L.I.F.E. room.

Now this storm wasn’t very unusual by Gulf Coast standards, though it did make a direct hit on the area around the church. Why, then, did we flood again? First, we appear to have had several problems with the gutters that we had not yet addressed after Harvey. This caused more water to be dumped near the building, especially in the corner of the playground than is typical in a storm. Second, we think that Harvey may have caused some changes to the drainage pattern on that side of the building, including reducing the effectiveness of the French drain we installed several years ago. As a result, a pretty good amount of water came through the walls.

By the grace of God, the team was right there when it happened. They jumped out of their beds (and many of them picked up their beds) and immediately began to address the problems, both inside and out. They pulled up the temporary carpet in their sleeping rooms, mopped and shop-vacuumed the floors and vacuumed and pumped outside to get the pools of water away from the walls. They did tremendous work. Now they are addressing a few wet spots on the (new) sheet rock, and removing some of the sheet rock to check the insulation.

Longer term, it looks like we need to put a better drain in the playground. Our plan is to re-dig the French drain that leads to the road. We’ll put in a grated drain in the playground, run a pipe down the bottom of the ditch, and then add gravel to rebuild the French drain. We also plan to improve the gutter drains all around the building.

But please pray that we don’t get this kind of rain again, so that we can continue to make progress not only in rebuilding our own building but in focusing on the homes of others.

By the way, if you missed it yesterday, here’s a link to our new lyric video with Harvey and Crisis Response imagery set to a wonderful song from the new album “Work Songs,” by The Porter’s Gate.