The Church updated its statement about the impact of Hurricane Harvey, sharing that the temple has now begun to flood:
Rising floodwater as a result of Hurricane Harvey has breached the Houston Texas Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to the temple president.
“The creek became a river and the current is so strong that it’s been dangerous to even try and approach the temple," said Marshall Hayes, president of the Houston Texas Temple. He said nearby Cyprus Creek rose by more than 20 feet.
“It appears water to the depth of four or five inches has gone inside the temple.” said President Hayes. “That includes a baptistry, a marriage waiting room, dressing rooms, kitchen and laundry. We haven’t been able to go inside so we really don’t know the extent of the damage.”
The temple, located in the community of Klein, has been closed since Saturday morning as the wind and rain approached the Houston area.
Plans to build the temple were announced September 30, 1997. Ground was broken on June 13, 1998 by President Gordon B. Hinckley. It was dedicated August 26, 2000.
The Houston Texas Temple serves Latter-day Saints in the greater Houston area and surrounding cities.
On August 28, Church spokesman Eric Hawkins released the following statement on the impact of Hurricane Harvey:
All missionaries are safe, though several missions have been affected. Significant precautions were taken before Hurricane Harvey's arrival to help missionaries remain safe. Each companionship gathered enough food and water to shelter for several days. Some missionaries were moved out of areas where the greatest potential for flooding existed. Several companionships are in flooded areas, but are well and are in contact with their mission presidents. As flooding subsides and cleanup efforts begin, missionaries will be engaged in helping the communities where they serve. As is customary in times of crisis, mission presidents have asked missionaries to contact their families by email to let them know they're safe, and have provided updates to families, as possible, through the weekend.
Several local chapels have experienced water damage, and many worship services were cancelled on Sunday. As required, our buildings may be used as shelters or to stage relief and cleanup supplies, as determined by local leaders. Local leaders are working to identify the needs of those in their congregations and communities, and to care for those in need.
The Church, on Friday, began sending water, hygiene and cleanup kits to a regional bishop's storehouse near Houston. These supplies will be offered to any who are in need. We will continue to monitor the situation including the needs for additional supplies, resources and volunteers.
The Church partners regularly with other aid organizations in such situations. We will continue to work with community partners to assess and address needs following this disaster.
Church leaders, including President Russell M. Nelson (who was in Houston last year and met with Mayor Sylvester Turner) have reached out to offer messages of encouragement and to pledge our willingness to help in the recovery and cleanup efforts.
We are praying for the people of Texas, and invite others to join us in those prayers. Anyone wishing to provide support for our efforts to aid to those in Texas is encouraged to make a donation to the Church's Humanitarian Fund, which can be found here.