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Harvey Erases 50 Years of Memories

When the relentless rain of Hurricane Harvey caused catastrophic flooding in east Texas, most victims had never seen anything like it.

“I was here in this house and I’ve lived here for 50 years,” recounts Leray. “And I’ve never had any water come into my yard much less into my house.”

A small steady stream flows in front of Leray’s curb, but at the height of the storm it reached six feet in his family home where he raised his kids and up until a few weeks ago, hosted his seven grandchildren.

Leray’s son Joseph remembers the terrifying night when the water wouldn’t stop rising.

“He didn’t have much time at all. You know, before he knew it. It was halfway into the driveway and next thing he knew it was coming up into the garage and having to be evacuated.”

Leray adds, “Eventually the police and some people came in and said, ‘You gotta get out. You got a few minutes and we’re gonna see the other houses, come back and pick you up.’ So I grabbed what I could.”

Everything left behind was destroyed.

When the floodwaters receded, Operation Blessing sprung into action.

“I had, no idea you guys were coming,” Joseph says emotionally.  “So seeing makes you believe. Never lose faith.”

Removing waterlogged carpets and knocking out molding walls, Operation Blessing volunteers helped turn a nightmare into a chance for renewed faith.

“There’s more good people than I thought there was,” shares Leray.  “I mean, everybody’s just been so helpful here. I’m just overwhelmed. I can’t say the right words to even come close to expressing how grateful I am.”

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