SALT LAKE CITY — Three trucks full of water and relief kits from the LDS Church rolled away from the Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City on Friday and headed toward Houston as Hurricane Harvey swept toward Texas.
The trucks will resupply the local Bishops' Storehouse in Houston operated by the Welfare Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Houston storehouse is fully stocked and prepared for the storm, LDS Church spokesman Doug Andersen said.
LDS officials in Houston recommended that church headquarters send supplementary supplies after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other officials said the storm could batter the state's Gulf Coast region for a week or more and cause record-setting flooding.
"We received a call from our headquarters, and they have asked us if we would put together some loads to go down and actually pre-position some of these supplies in that area," said John Hopkins, manager of the Bishops’ Central Storehouse, in a news release.
One truck is carrying bottled water and another is loaded with cleaning kits. The third is carrying a combination of hygiene and cleaning kits.
The LDS Church is prepared to activate its Helping Hands network of volunteers once the storm hits and local leaders can make assessments, Andersen said.
The storm made landfall Friday night near Corpus Christi, according to the Associated Press. The National Hurricane Center upgraded the storm to Category 4 on Friday afternoon.
The church's 130 bishops' storehouses around the world support the faith's welfare program. People in need can receive assistance from a storehouse with the recommendation of a local bishop or Relief Society president.
Welfare program supplies are funded by donations.
"This is an opportunity, even though it's a very adverse situation and there will be people affected adversely, but this allows us all to come together," Hopkins said. "It'll just simply be a community effort, and I'm grateful to be part of that, to be able to provide that assistance."