St. Martha Catholic Church on Woodland Hills Drive in Kingwood ended up as a makeshift shelter for about 100 people last Tuesday night, Aug. 29. Tom Gallagher, the grand knight for the Knights of Columbus, coordinated the effort.

"We actually were not even supposed to be a shelter but residents of the local Arbor Terrace retirement community really needed us," he said.

Arbor Terrace, behind the Randall's Town Center shopping center, needed to be evacuated due to rising water. Many of the residents needed medical attention, and parishioners with medical expertise, such as nurses, answered the call. The residents were evacuated to St. Martha and were later transported to NRG stadium, which had been set up as a medical triage center for evacuees needing medical care. Word spread throughout the community about people in need, and St. Martha has since received many generous donations such as water, clothing, diapers and towels.

“FEMA personnel at St. Martha that morning provided wonderful assistance before they were deployed,” said Gallagher.

St. Martha is no longer serving as a shelter but will continue to be a donation facility until Tuesday, Sept. 5. Those needing shelter have since been sent to First Baptist Church at FM 1314 and the U.S. 59 feeder road in Porter. Other shelter locations are listed at

St. Martha Catholic Church has since turned its attention to matching parishioners with needs to parishioners who are willing to help. If someone needs help, knows of someone who needs help, or is willing to volunteer in any capacity, please click complete and submit the survey at The church needs volunteers at the St. Martha's activity center on the Woodland Hills campus. Volunteers are needed from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. to receive cleaning supply donations and to distribute the donations as people come in. If interested, email Gallagher at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Kingwood United Methodist Church also has a line at 281-358-2137 for those needing assistance. Second Baptist Church also can help; go to

Jacqueline Havelka
Author: Jacqueline HavelkaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a rocket scientist turned writer. I worked at Lockheed Martin-Johnson Space Center for many years managing experiments on the Space Station and Shuttle, and I now own my own firm, Inform Scientific, specializing in technical and medical writing and research program management. I am a contributing correspondent to The Tribune, a Kingwood resident for 12 years, and proud mom to two Aggie sons.

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