More than 30 inches of rain has fallen on Houston and the surrounding area since last Thursday as a result of Hurricane Harvey, now downgraded to a tropical storm. Up to 50 inches of rain is possible by the end of the week as Harvey continues to pelt the area with downpours. Texas authorities said Monday afternoon at least eight people have died as a result of the storm and 2,000 people have been rescued from flooded homes with tens of thousands fleeing.
According to Chabad, the southwest Houston neighborhood of Meyerland, home to a number of synagogues, kosher restaurants and supermarkets, is nearly completely submerged, with almost nothing edible for Jewish residents there. The local Chabad chapter in Houston, Chabad of Uptown, launched an online registration form early Monday for people who’ve been evacuated and are in need of kosher meals. Kosher breakfasts have already been delivered to Jewish residents at some local shelters or those in holed up in local hotels.
“I have a bunch of volunteers here and some people staying in the house, and we are preparing bagels, scrambled eggs, hash browns and vegetables for breakfast,” said Chanie Lazaroff, co-director of Chabad of Uptown with her husband, Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff.
“I sent out a batch already and a few more are going out, but we just got a flash-flood warning, and the challenge is to keep ourselves and our volunteers safe, even as we get out of the house to help others,” she told Chabad.org.
Lazaroff said that Chabad Houses from across Texas are preparing to bring in fresh meals and supplies of kosher meat, chicken, milk and bottled water as soon as the flood waters recede enough so that deliveries can reach the city.