We were thinking of visiting our parents in San Antonio last weekend, when we heard on the news that a huge hurricane was going hit the Texas coastline. We thought it probably won’t be that bad; after all there wasn’t even a cloud in the sky. The forecast called for 100% chance of rain for at least 4 days, but it rains in Houston all the time so what’s the big fuss about? But, everyone was in a panic. People were lined up in all of the grocery stores and gas stations, buying up as much as they could of just about everything like bottled water, canned goods, batteries, and gasoline. We had never experienced “hurricane behavior” before, and we couldn’t help but think people were overreacting a bit. They were acting as if a zombie apocalypse was coming… not a few rain drops.
Boy! Were we ever wrong!
Hurricane Harvey reached Houston on Friday evening, August 25, 2017, after making landfall in Rockport (about 200 miles southwest of Houston) and the rain didn’t stop pouring until the following Tuesday. As the rain kept pounding down, the water level quickly rose above our entire driveway, our yard, and soon, our house was surrounded by a moat (which actually, made us start hoping there weren’t any alligators nearby). We were on an island and all we could do was watch as the water inched its way to our door. By Sunday, we thought for sure that our house wasn’t going to make it. After all, houses just down the street were already seeing flood waters come through their doors. The whole weekend was spent waiting. We had every towel in the house stuffed up against the front and back doors – hoping that would buy us some time. We packed a couple of small suitcases (to include one that was almost full of dog food) and stacked everything on top of counters, bookcases, appliances, and shelves trying to save things should the water come in. We couldn’t sleep because we would keep waking up every hour expecting our beds to be floating down the street. We couldn’t workout much either because the storm wouldn’t allow us to leave the house! Miraculously, the water never entered our house! It was an inch from our door, but somehow, it never came in!
The rain started to let up on Tuesday and finally we could relax. Sadly, many people were severely impacted by the destruction of Hurricane Harvey. Fortunately, we were one of the lucky ones. People who lived a few miles away lost everything. Even today, almost a week after the hurricane hit, there are still houses under water with many roads, highways, and businesses closed. We felt more than ever that we needed to help our fellow Houstonians somehow beyond making a contribution to the Red Cross (we did that, too). We teamed up with our friends from Newzill, made the trek downtown to the George R. Brown Convention Center (a large convention center being used as a shelter for 10,000 people who had to abandon their homes) and handed out compression socks to the brave, hard-working volunteers, paramedics, and first-responders that are working so hard to help everyone in-need around the clock. We couldn’t believe how many people had been affected by the hurricane. There were so many different volunteers walking around trying to do anything that they could to help; it was heartwarming. Two weeks ago it seemed like our country was being torn apart by hate from the riots in Charlottesville. Fortunately, this past week, the best of humanity shined a light on Houston and the Texas Gulf coast.
We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who volunteered (and continue to volunteer) to help our neighbors survive Harvey’s destruction.