Maranatha Church in Mont Belvieu, Texas is located just 70 miles west of where the eye of Hurricane Rita hit Texas and Louisiana last week.
As millions of people attempted to evacuate the Houston area, I-45 became completely clogged. Northbound traffic moved at speeds between one-half to one mile per hour. Because of this, about a dozen members of Maranatha decided to stay in their Monolithic Dome church during the hurricane.
Dora Hatch, a secretary at Maranatha, hunkered down with her family. She said, “We tried to evacuate, but after 9 hours in the car, we were only a few miles away, so we came back. We stayed in the Monolithic Dome office at the church, while others stayed in the sanctuary. Those that stayed in the sanctuary said the storm was ‘eerie’ because they could hear it, but felt safe from it.”
Wind gusts of up to 100 mph were reported in their area. Their Monolithic Dome church went unscathed.
After the storm, Dora and her family were relieved to find damage to their property was limited to the loss of a few electric poles. Damage in the area near the church seemed to be located in “pockets.” Random clusters of homes had their roofs sheared off. Large trees were uprooted and fences were blown down.