Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Harvey

Just a quick note to say hi.
We're doing fine.
We made it through Hurricane Harvey 
unscathed compared to 99.9% of Houston. 
The past five days couple of weeks have been a blur
and most people here couldn't tell you what day it is
or what day certain things happened.



It started raining Friday and didn't stop,
at least at my house,
until yesterday last Tuesday afternoon.
I haven't looked at the official total
but according to the cooler I had in the backyard
catching rainwater {just in case}
it was over fifty inches.
In four days.
Our street floods on a normal day.
Remember this story?
How our house managed not to flood during Harvey
I can only attribute to the hand of God.
Other friends were not so lucky.
I knew our friend Steve would flood.
He lives right across from Braes Bayou.
For those of you not from Texas
translation: its like a river but really a big drainage ditch.
He texted our running group early Saturday
 that the water was rising quickly.
My husband and I had been watching the news
and the news anchors were already talking
about people climbing into their attics
because of first floors flooded out.
Steve lives in a one story ranch.
I asked my husband at one point,
because they'd mentioned it on the news,
should I tell Steve to take an ax with him?
To break through to the roof?
We kind of debated,
not that he wouldn't have known what to do
but really, I think its because we'd never thought of that.

I knew none of us could get to his house to help him get out.
If he was flooding, I knew the streets would be flooded.
I also knew he had two big dogs and that he would never leave them behind.
As we were debating what and how to tell him
he texted saying that they were swimming to a neighbors house.
Yes, you read that right.
He and his girlfriend somehow got their two dogs
to safety at a two story neighbor's house nearby.
Happy to hear that they were safe
we started our storm watch,
taking in the info from television,
 watching our own street become a river.
We walked our house and made a plan for what we needed to do
to secure what we could upstairs
and what we would have to sacrifice if we couldn't.
We put stuff up on tables and counters,
filled the bathtubs with water,
kept moving about to keep from watching the water outside.
At one point our youngest asked me if he thought we were all going to die.
He'd heard us talking about Steve and wanted to know
what we would do if the water came in the house.
That got me to counting how many life jackets we had in the garage.
My husband and I came up with a plan just in case
but our area had this little bubble around it on the radar,
bad but not horrible and we're far enough from the bayou.
We had other friends who flooded who never dreamt their house was in danger.
One in particular you may remember fought a battle with cancer a few years ago.
She was out of town with her kids during the storm
and apparently when her husband called to tell her the news
he quipped "at least it's not cancer."
I'm telling you, if you don't already know, there is a spirit in Texans
that I have never seen any where else before.
What we watched on local television is mind blowing.
Unfathomable really.
We didn't experience the wind that came in the eye of the storm but
the water that fell on our city was nothing short of Biblical in nature.
For days the rescue helicopters flew overhead.
Then on day four or five, I've lost track,
late in the afternoon the sun came out from behind the clouds.
Like a sign from heaven.

We have watched our stunned city come together
in a can do spirit,
neighbors helping neighbors,
strangers helping strangers.
No whining, no blame game, no politics.
At least not here in Houston.
Not that I've seen or heard.
What's going on in our city is reminiscent of the days after 9/11.
You've probably heard the stories of heroism
but I know for every one there are a dozen that are untold.
Of ordinary people who did extraordinary things.
Of people risking their own lives to save others.
Of people pitching in where they could in their own way,
even cleaning out their closets while the storm still raged
to give to people displaced and now in shelters.
Everyone thought of some way to help without being asked.
Of out of towners like the Cajun Navy hitching up their boats
and rushing to our city to help because they just knew we needed it.
This storm had no prejudice.
It hit everyone in every community.
Rich, poor.
Young, old.
Every ethnicity.
It did not discriminate.
Neither did the brave souls helping.
I hope we never forget the feeling we have here now.
I don't know what's going on everywhere else
but here in Houston
we are pulling up our bootstraps and getting things done.
I have no doubt that Houston will rise strong,
stronger than before.
As much as I'm always in a southern state of mind
and long to move back to where I come from,
I have to tell you
that my roots in here in Houston
are planted a whole lot deeper now.
Because Harvey brought more love here than it did water.
💗




3 comments :

  1. Thank you for sharing your story! You brought tears to my eyes. THIS is our America, not the hate and divisiveness of the last year. So glad that you are well! Barbara in Mn

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  2. So glad that you're okay, Nancy. Thanks for sharing that beautiful story.

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  3. This made me cry. I cannot image how harrowing this was. I am happy to hear that you and all of your friends, and their pets are safe. I hope that the recovery effort is moving along and will not take the years, and years that it did in NOLA.

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