Rita's Ashore on the Texas - Louisiana Border! Air Mobile's on the move!
Report Submitted by Joe Hurston - Saturday - Sept. 24, 2005, 7:52am, Austin, TX
Rita has struck! THANK GOD for effective evacuations! Bravo to the local/state and federal authorities for such an excellent job!! Damage is being assessed as I write. Now that we have a clearly established "Ground Zero", Sabine Pass / Port Arthur we can strategize what we can do. The path of Rita will take her very close to Shreveport. Yesterday, we made excellent contact with the Administrator, Gary Green, of the Shriner Hospital in Shreveport. We'll be in touch with him this morning.
We're listening to every piece of news that we can find. First reports are that Rita hit at about 1:00am with winds of 125 mph and is expected to drop as much as 25" of rain. Flooding will certainly be a huge factor. Storm surges were not nearly as high as expected. PRAISE GOD!! At this moment, there are no known fatalities, but it is very, very early.
I just spoke with Tim Mulville of Living Water International. He too, has been monitoring Rita. His plan will be to work into Galveston with his two Vortex Voyagers TM. It was so good spending excellent training and strategizing time with Tim yesterday. As we spoke this morning, we truly praise the Lord for the initial reports we are getting back.
New Orleans is still very vulnerable. It is still flooding and the strained levees can break at any time. We must continue to pray for them there.
Yesterday, Rick and Debbie Hutchinson, dear friends and wonderful missionaries in Haiti and the Dominican Republic gave us a call. They had been back in the U.S. awaiting the birth of their grandson. Well, they were less than an hour from us. Soon, our little Bounder was full of folks (including the new grandson). Tim and Rick were able to discuss critical needs for water wells in Haiti. It was a precious time of fellowship and exchange of vital information. This was just another example of our Lord "Deploying His troops". So glad to be part of His Body!
Today, we will "break camp" and begin heading north toward Dallas and over to Shreveport. Our coarse will actually paralell Rita from a safe distance to the west. Kind of like stalking a lion! Once arriving into Shreveport, we will check on the water situation with the Shriners Hospital there. Then we'll head due south directly and as close to "Ground Zero" on the Louisiana / Texas border as we can possible get. We don't know what we will find. Our goal is to bring very clean water to thirsty people. Our Bounder, with the 8 Vortex Voyagers TM on-board, can purify nearly 250 gallons per hour. I know this part of Louisiana extremely well. There are many, many sources of fresh (non saline) water.
After checking that region, we will then head back to Baton Rouge and meet with Dan Andrews, our Louisiana Air Mobile Team Member. We will store our remaining Voyagers TM there. Those Vortex Voyagers TM will be ready for immediate deployment to either the West Louisiana area, New Orleans or back to the Gulf Coast.
We will be monitoring our satellite radio throughout the day for developments and areas of need. We PRAISE GOD again for allowing us to be in this position of being so close to Hurricane Rita. All the Hurston's are well. Thank you for your prayer, love and support!!
Joe and the Air Mobile Team