By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Naftali and Nene Shmukler were one of the many residents in the path of Hurricane Harvey storm that left their home on the southern end of the Texas coast.
As Shluchim of Chabad Coastal Bend in the coastal city Corpus Christi, they live in close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. The storm expected to explore in their area was upgraded to a Category 4.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott warned that the hurricane would be “a very major disaster” and officials warned that those who remained in the path would be subjected to the storm’s wrath for days.
Water levels began to rise Friday in Corpus Christi as Hurricane Harvey churned closer to a Friday night landfall, the Weather Channel reported.
Video from storm chasers in the city showed at least one car submerged in water; storm surge has raised the water level in the city by about 3 feet as of Friday afternoon.
“After a crazy day, waiting hours in lines for water and wood, boarding up our house, preparing for the storm, we headed for safety in middle of the night as suggested by city officials,” the Schmuklers reported.
Speaking to COLlive.com before Shabbos, Rabbi Schmukler said they arrived safely in McAllen, a city away from the storm, and will be spending Shabbos at Chabad of the Rio Grande Valley led by Rabbi Asher and Dina Hecht.
“People are certainly concerned,” Schmukler said. “Our home is 2 blocks away from the bay which is right in the path of the storm. Those that couldn’t evacuate are remaining put and we are staying in touch with them.”
VIDEO: 15-foot storm surge possible as Hurricane Harvey approaches Texas
The Canadian-born rabbi, who arrived in Texas this year, said he plans to make the 2 and a half hour drive back to Corpus Christi after Shabbos, if conditions allow it.
“I plan to return and load up on supplies,” he said, noting that he was in touch with fellow Shluchim who have dealt with disaster relief in the past.
Tens of thousands of people were without power by 5 p.m. local time Friday, and landfall of the catastrophic storm was still hours away, the Weather Channel reported.
“Our goal is to ensure that we are prepared to help people in need,” Schmukler said in a phone conversation an hour before Shabbos. “Even if the storm turns out to be ‘minimal’, they are expecting it to cause significant damage.”
To support the relief efforts – click here