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Catholic Charities responds to Hurricane Beryl power outages and flooding

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After Hurricane Beryl hit Texas early Monday morning as a Category 1 hurricane, claiming two lives and causing power outages in 2.7 million homes in Houston, the head of a local branch of Catholic Charities providing relief told EWTN: “We lean on our faith.”

Hurricane Beryl made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at about 4 a.m. local time on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Designated as a tropical storm on Monday afternoon, the storm that first began as a Category 5 hurricane in the Caribbean islands wreaked havoc and caused widespread flooding in Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas.

Cynthia Colbert, the president and CEO of Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston, the region hardest hit by Beryl, spoke to EWTN News’ Montse Alvarado about local needs.

“With faith and grit and hard work, we’re going to get back to where we were pre-hurricane,” she said on “EWTN News Nightly.”

Colbert explained that Catholic Charities is “one of the early responders” and will be providing some financial assistance, food, cleaning supplies, and more long-term support for those who need it.

“We try to meet the basic needs that people have after the initial storm has passed,” she said.

“We’ll be providing things to help people meet their basic needs,” Colbert continued. “For example, if they’ve had rain damage in their home or anything else, they might not be able to go to work. Maybe they’ve lost their car, they’ve lost all the food in their refrigerator because they don’t have power.”

Those with more long-term needs may have fewer resources or were uninsured or underinsured for the storm, Colbert explained.

“If they have damage to their home, they’re going to need repairs. We’ll be calling on the community to help with repairs [in the] longer term,” she said. “We provide case management that helps people get back on their feet to pretty much how life was before the storm.”

When asked about how locals in the Greater Gulf area endure the barrage of storms over the past 15 years, Colbert explained that they all pitch in.

“I will tell you what I know about Houston in our region and our Catholic Church,” she said. “We are a resilient group. We know how to get together to help the community recover.”

“What you’ll see is Knights of Columbus, we’ll have the St. Vincent de Paul, other Catholic parishes with ministries, we’ll all pitch in and do what we can to help the community recover,” Colbert continued.

“What I know about Houston, we are resilient, we’re collaborative, we lean on our faith,” she continued. “We know that God has a plan, and he has us in the palm of his hands.”

Before it reached Houston, Hurricane Beryl devastated Grenada, where it made landfall as a Category 5 hurricane on July 1.

“In Grenada, a reported 98% of buildings — home to some 6,000 people — are damaged or destroyed,” a statement from CRS said. “Most families there collect rain from rooftops, which is a low-cost way to store drinking water. With such extreme damage to homes, drinking water is now running out.”

“People in Grenada have described the island as almost entirely homeless — and residents are in urgent need of shelter support, clean water, hygiene supplies, food, and other assistance,” the statement continued. “Especially for families who have lost their homes and assets, immediate safety from the elements is a high priority.”

To support the relief efforts, visit Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services.

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Catholic Charities responds to Hurricane Beryl power outages and flooding