Hurricane Ike Threatens Texas Parishes
From Fr. John Mefrige of St. Ephraim Church in San Antonio, TX:
The oncoming projections of Hurricane IKE places its path DIRECTLY over San Antonio. Despite being 150 miles from the ocean it is possible that we could experience 100 mile an hour winds should this make landfall as a category 4 or 5. Presently it is predicted to make landfall between Port O'Connor and Corpus Christi as a category 3 on early morning this Saturday. At present there is a 40% chance of Tropical Storm Force winds hitting us. For more information and up to the minute coverage see:
Despite the incoming track of Hurricane Ike, we WILL have Saturday Great Vespers and Sunday morning Services at the usual time. However you are urged to pay close attention to the weather and follow appropriate emergency measures, especially all evacuation orders. Services are only going to be held because Fr. John does not need to drive to the Church as the parish house is next door.
If there are any parishioners that feel that their homes will not be able to weather the storm they are directed to follow official evacuation orders or to PORT SAN ANTONIO where FEMA and Emergency Authorities are holding evaquees. Fr. John Khouriee Janet and the girls will be riding out the storm in the church which is a concrete structure.
From Deacon Elias of St. John the Divine Church in Lake Charles, LA:
As for the storm, this is a very peculiar one in that its path is murky and it is going to be determined by two things. First, there is a high pressure area that is currently blocking it from moving north. This is good news for us. However this pressure area is moving east. Once it moves out the hurricane is supposed to veer to the north or towards Galveston. Unfortunately the hurricane is moving rather slowly. This allows the high pressure time to move out of the way. If it hits around Galveston, Beaumont would be impacted severely in that we are on the "bad side of the storm." As of now, Ike is moving toward Corpus Christi. Bottom line for us is we have to wait and see. Unfortunately the possible turn can happen very late or just before the hurricane hits land. This is the big uncertainty that we face. Please keep us and keep all the people of the gulf coast in your graces prayers.
Please keep these and all Gulf Region parishes in your prayers.
"Again we pray that we may be preserved from wrath, pestilence, earthquake, flood, fire, hurricane, tornado and the sword, foreign invasion, civil war, terrorism, and sudden death; that the Lord our God will be gracious, favorable, and conciliatory, and turn away and dispel all the wrath stirred up against us and all sickness, and may deliver us from His righteous chastisement which impendeth against us, and have mercy on us."