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Virgin Mary statue survives fire that destroyed home during Hurricane Harvey

A family says a statue of the Virgin Mary is all that remained after a fire destroyed their home during Hurricane Harvey, and that symbol is giving them hope.

>> Watch the news report here

>> Hurricane Harvey: How you can help

The Rojas family of Robstown, Texas, evacuated their homes on their family property before the Category 4 hurricane made landfall, and after seeing what happened to three of the family’s houses, they say they’re glad they left. They returned to charred remains where the houses once stood.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

>> On HotTopics.TV: Your heart will melt when you see what this little boy did for a baby Jesus statue out in the cold 

“The first thing I thought is we would have died in here if we would have stayed. We left, so we’re alive and I just wish this wouldn’t have happened,” homeowner Natali Rojas told KRIS.

>> 8 tips when donating to Hurricane Harvey recovery and relief efforts

Rojas said one of the only items that remained after the fires was a statue of the Virgin Mary. She said it’s a reminder to stay strong.

>> Harvey's aftermath: Houston perseveres through immense loss (live updates)

“Appreciate what you have, listen to the warnings, hug your children and thank God for today and yesterday, and pray for a better tomorrow,” Rojas said.

>> Read more trending news

The Rojas family set up a GoFundMe account to raise money to rebuild. If you would like to donate, click here.

Lost dog jumps into stranger's car during Hurricane Harvey, reunites with family

A dog is back with his family thanks to a storm chaser who found more than just a hurricane this weekend.

>> Hurricane Harvey evacuees haven't forgotten about their pets

According to HotTopics.TV, Aaron Jayjack describes himself as a storm chaser and outdoorsman in his Twitter bio. According to a video posted over the weekend, he was in Runge, Texas, chasing Hurricane Harvey when a dog jumped into his car.

>> Watch the video here

“I stopped for gas and this guy was following me down the road and when I stopped he jumped into the Jeep,” Jayjack said in a video posted to Twitter.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

He asked his followers to share the video in hopes of finding the dog’s owner. He nicknamed the lost pup “Harvey.”

>> Sandra Bullock donates $1M to American Red Cross for Harvey relief

His tweet went viral, and the dog’s owner soon came forward. The dog, whose real name is Cash, is now back with his family, according to a Twitter update by Jayjack.

>> Read more trending news

Cash was clearly happy to see his family again.

“Cash was trying to climb out [the] window to [his] owner,” Jayjack wrote.

>> See the post here

>> See the reunion here

Sandra Bullock donates $1M to American Red Cross for Harvey relief

Actress Sandra Bullock has given $1 million to the American Red Cross’s Harvey Relief Fund, People magazine reports

>> Complete Harvey coverage on Statesman.com

The “The Proposal” and “Minions” star, who owns a home in Austin, Texas, told the magazine that her decision was made in an attempt to bring people together. 

>> Hurricane Harvey: Celebs pledge help to those affected by storms

“I’m just grateful I can do it,” she told People. “We all have to do our part...There are no politics in eight feet of water. There are human beings in eight feet of water.”

>> Harvey makes second landfall in Louisiana (live updates)

Bullock is just one of many celebrities who have donated their time or money for Tropical Storm Harvey relief. Among others, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has started a fundraiser that has raised more than $5 million since Sunday, and comedian Kevin Hart said he will donate $25,000 to the American Red Cross, and urged his celebrity friends to do the same. 

>> Read more trending news

Tropical Storm Harvey has dumped more than 50 inches of rain over Houston and its surrounding areas, the greatest amount of rainfall ever recorded in the 48 contiguous states from one storm. As of early Wednesday morning, 19 people were confirmed dead as a result of the storm. 

Best Buy apologizes after photo of $43 water cases during Hurricane Harvey goes viral

Best Buy has apologized after a viral photo appeared to show a Houston-area store selling cases of bottled water for as much as $43 during Hurricane Harvey.

>> Houston flooding: Texas records most rainfall ever in continental US (live updates)

A photo submitted to GritPost appeared to show a Best Buy offering $29.98 and $42.96 cases of water, prompting outrage and allegations of price gouging on social media.

>> See the post here

A Best Buy spokesman issued the following statement about the photo to CNBC on Tuesday:

>> Hurricane Harvey evacuees haven't forgotten about their pets

"This was a big mistake on the part of a few employees at one store on Friday. As a company, we are focused on helping, not hurting affected people. We're sorry and it won't happen again. Not as an excuse but as an explanation, we don't typically sell cases of water. The mistake was made when employees priced a case of water using the single-bottle price for each bottle in the case."

>> Hurricane Harvey: How you can help

The Texas Attorney General’s Office confirmed to GritPost that reports of price gouging have been flowing in, including more than 550 complaints and 225 emails. And officials expect even more once the waters go down.

>> 8 tips when donating to Hurricane Harvey

“We expect more complaints in the wake of the storm regarding home repair and construction fraud/price gouging,” said Kayleigh Lovvorn, who works in media relations in the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

>> Bass Pro Shops donating dozens of boats to aid Harvey rescue efforts

“Unfortunately, price gouging like this can be common following natural disasters,” she continued. Lovvorn added that they office has seen complaints from “hotels, grocers, fuel providers and (most frequently) fresh water.”

>> Read more trending news

Businesses found guilty of price gouging can face fines of $20,000, according to GritPost. The site also noted that “anyone who overcharges a senior citizen on necessary goods will be fined $250,000.”

Hurricane Harvey evacuees haven't forgotten about their pets

As thousands of people are displaced by rising waters in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, they are bringing small amounts of personal belongings to area shelters. But evacuees are not leaving their furry friends behind.

>> Good boy: Dog carrying bag of food through Hurricane Harvey goes viral

“It seems like everyone coming off a boat is carrying a dog or cat,” said Monica Schmidt, a manager for the Houston Humane Society, according to Reuters.

>> Houston flooding: Texas records most rainfall ever in continental US (live updates)

Because many people stayed behind – and died – during Hurricane Katrina because they were fearful that they wouldn’t be able to bring their animals to shelters, this time around, authorities are welcoming the pets with open arms.

>> Hurricane Harvey: How you can help

At the George R. Brown Convention Center, where some 9,000 evacuees are currently housed, there is a separate area for people and their pets.

>> 8 tips when donating to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts

Not everyone has heeded the call to save pets. A woman claimed on Twitter that her neighbor in Corpus Christi left behind a dog.

And a shelter in San Antonio has taken in around 200 displaced animals, the New York Times reported.

>> Read more trending news

“Our commitment is for as long as it takes and as long as the nation needs our help,” Heber Lefgren, the department’s director, said in an interview.

Bass Pro Shops donating dozens of boats to aid Harvey rescue efforts

Bass Pro Shops announced in a press release Monday that it would donate more than 80 boats for immediate Hurricane Harvey relief.

>> Houston flooding: Texas records most rainfall ever in continental US (live updates)

The outdoor company said it was donating $40,000 in protein-rich food, such as jerky and peanuts, and more than 80 Tracker boats to assist in rescue efforts as Hurricane Harvey flooding challenges communities.

>> Read more trending news

Bass Pro Shops, which has seven stores in Texas, is also helping employees affected by the storm with the Bass Pro Care Fund, which “provides support for critical living expenses in times of devastating need.”

>> Hurricane Harvey: How you can help

The boat help comes at a critical momentFox Business reported that 3,000 people have already been rescued, and residents with boats have been recruited to help.

'Supernatural' star Jensen Ackles' brewery raising funds for Hurricane Harvey relief

The brewery from “Supernatural” star Jensen Ackles – who plays Dean Winchester on the show – and his family isn’t open yet, but Family Business Beer Co. is already getting philanthropic.

>> Hurricane Harvey: How you can help

On Sunday, the Texas Hill Country beer business organized a fundraiser for Hurricane Harvey relief. People responded quickly — so quickly, in fact, that the campaign has already surpassed its $100,000 goal, raising more than $128,000 (and that number is rising at a viral level).

>> Donate to the fundraiser here

“We are partnering with Random Acts to make sure 100% of this drive goes to families impacted by this tragedy,” Family Business Beer Co. wrote on the fundraising page at crowdrise.com.

>> Hurricane Harvey: Diaper bank seeking donations for storm evacuees

Random Acts is a nonprofit that, according to its mission statement, focuses on big and little acts of kindness to change the world. It’s no accident Family Business Beer chose Random Acts to help with its Harvey philanthropy: Random Acts was founded by another “Supernatural” cast member, Misha Collins, who plays the angel Castiel on the CW show.

>> Complete Harvey coverage from the Austin American-Statesman

Ackles is opening Family Business Beer Co. on Hamilton Pool Road with his family, including brother-in-law Gino Graul and wife Danneel. Heading up the brewing program is Nate Seale, formerly of Austin’s (512) Brewing. The project appears to be under construction still, despite a planned opening at the end of this summer, but will be a destination brewery with live music, outdoor games and food trucks once completed.

>> Hurricane Harvey: Celebs pledge help to those affected by storms

Family Business Beer Co.’s fundraiser will keep people updated on their “charity dollars at work.” There are a lot of causes the money could be donated to — much of Houston has flooded to catastrophic levels, with many people reeling from the loss of their homes.

>> Read more trending news

To donate, visit crowdrise.com/o/en/team/texas-flood-relief/familybusinessbeercompany.

Hurricane Harvey: Diaper bank seeking donations for storm evacuees

The Austin Diaper Bank in Texas needs your help. It needs diapers (both adult and infant), as well as wipes and diaper cream, to put together packets for people who have evacuated to Austin because of Hurricane Harvey.

>> Hurricane Harvey: How you can help

For local donors, the diaper bank warehouse bin is at 8711 Burnet Road, back of Building B, or you can go online to austindiaperbank.org to find a drop-off location. Donors outside the Austin area can have items shipped directly to the diaper bank using its Amazon Wish List. You also can donate money at www.austindiaperbank.org.

>> Visit the website here

On Monday, the diaper bank created packets and packed a truck donated by Longhorn Car and Truck Rentals with more than 3,000 diapers and wipes to take to Houston and South Texas.

>> Houston braces for more flooding after Harvey: Live Updates

“During times of disaster and catastrophe, families often have to leave their homes on a moment’s notice or do not have the ability take long-term supplies with them,” said Holly McDaniel, executive director of the Austin Diaper Bank, in a press release. “We want to make sure that an adequate supply of diapers is not a worry during these stressful times. Diapers are not supplied by disaster relief agencies, and they are essential to keep babies, children and adults clean, dry and healthy.”

>> Complete Harvey coverage from the Austin American-Statesman

McDaniel is the new executive director at the diaper bank as of last week. She has more than 15 years of experience with nonprofits in Austin and California. Previously, she was director of individual giving and philanthropy at KMFA, 89.5, the classical public radio station in Austin.

>> 8 tips when donating to Hurricane Harvey

The diaper bank expects to hit 1 million diapers donated early next year and now works with 40 local nonprofit agencies to distribute diapers throughout Central Texas. It was started in 2013 by Beverly Hamilton of Austin, who left the executive director role in June. “I really wanted the organization to grow and have the impact it could have,” she said of her decision to leave. “My goal was to get it started and get it going. It’s in good hands now.”

>> Read more trending news

Hamilton will still serve on the board of directors. She’s started a consulting firm, Small But Mighty Consulting, to help small nonprofit organizations do things that they can’t afford to hire a full-time person to do as well as executive director coaching.

WATCH: Drone video shows devastating floods in Hurricane Harvey's aftermath

Drone video sent to WHBQ in Memphis, Tennessee, shows the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. 

>> Watch the video here

A resident in Pearland, Texas, shared the video Sunday afternoon.

>> Catastrophic flooding inundating parts of Texas after Hurricane Harvey: Live Updates

Laura Malone lives in the Stonebridge neighborhood in Pearland. Pearland is just over 17 miles from downtown Houston. Her neighborhood has seen over 20 inches of rain in the last 24 hours, and more rain is expected over the next four to five days.

>> Read more trending news

WHBQ has a crew in Houston and will continue providing updates from the area when more info becomes available. 

Hurricane Harvey: City of Austin vows to try to keep power on for 'Game of Thrones' finale

Texans dealing with the storm that started out as Hurricane Harvey have more important things to worry about than TV. Then again, Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” season finale isn’t just any old TV.

>> Hurricane Harvey slams Texas before becoming tropical storm: Live updates

>> Read more trending news

The city of Austin, showing a sense of humor amid all the rain falling Saturday, took to the Austin section of Reddit to answer some storm-related questions and also offer a glimmer of hope for hardcore “Thrones” fans:

>> On Statesman.com: Complete Harvey coverage

>> See the thread here

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