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TX sees urban flooding

Areas in east Texas are struggling with urban flood damage, said Nancy Bass, mass care coordinator for the state.

BY SUSAN KIM | GANADO, Texas | December 3, 2004

Areas in east Texas are struggling with urban flood damage, said Nancy Bass, mass care coordinator for the state.

More than 2,000 homes - in communities such as Ganado, Wharton and El Campo - were affected, she said.

Affected families range from low-income to poverty-level incomes, she said, and because they live in the city, their damage isn't always visible to passersby. "These are not people that have chosen to live by a river."

In Wharton, Texas Baptist Men teams were still offering immediate relief. "I'm running with every finger stretched out," said Ernie Rice, vice president for Texas Baptist Men.

The teams have been cleaning out homes and the group is also offering chaplaincy services, he said.

"We are doing a huge push for this weekend for volunteers," he added. "We've got leadership and equipment - we just need volunteers."

So far the Texas Baptist Men have coordinated 270 volunteers, served 1,100 meals and cleaned out 34 homes.

In El Campo, three homes had major damage, and 205 others had minor damage. In Wharton, nine homes had major damage, and 79 others had minor damage.

Don “Bogie” Jones, disaster recovery coordinator of the Southwest Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, will arrive in east Texas on Thursday to assess damages. He will bring 120 flood buckets and health kits from the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

Like Bass, Jones was concerned about the flood damage hitting people already facing economic strain. “We’re talking about pretty high unemployment,” he said.


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