As most of y’all know, I am in the Houston area. Hurricane Harvey hit south of us, destroyed towns down there, and then just sat over the Houston area. Some places got over 50” of rain in a matter of days. Y’all, just think about that. 50” of rain in a matter of days. Some cities and states don’t get 50” of rain in their entire year. Houston residents were told to stay home, because it was the safest option, which is true. If y’all don’t remember Hurricane Rita, let me refresh your memory real quickly. Rita was coming right for Houston, and a mandatory evacuation was issued. Hundreds of people died on the roads trying to leave, and then Rita didn’t even end up hitting us. When you have a city as large as Houston, not just Houston metro, but the entire area of Houston, the safest thing to do is encourage people to shelter in place if it’s just rain. So Harvey. Flooding happened, people lost their lives, their homes, their cars. They lost everything. However, the death toll is still less than it was for Rita, and that’s with the catastrophic flooding we received.
When it gets personal
My mom’s apartment was (yes was) down close to the medical center. She almost didn’t leave, but at the last minute my sister ran down there to get her and bring her up to me. She said “hey I’ll just get a few days with my grand babies and go home in time for school Monday.” Then the rain started. I saw rumors about her area being completely under water but was hoping they were wrong. Then we saw her exact apartment complex on the news and they were doing high water rescues in boats and helicopters. Then my sister texted me and said water was getting close to coming in her in-law’s house (where she was living). Then she said there was water coming in the doors from both sides (back and front). Then she said they were being evacuated by boat and she would let me know when they were safe. That was the scariest hour of my life, not knowing if she was safe. They all got out, got to safety, but lost everything. My mom lost everything, including all of my childhood and family pictures. My second mom lost everything, even the stuff she left with when the boat that rescued her capsized. All of my family members are safe, though, and that’s what matters the most.
Trying to Move On
Now it’s time to try to move on, to “get over” the destruction of Harvey, and move forward. There are still piles of debris 10-15 feet high in yards. The removal companies are working as hard as they can to remove the trash. It’s hard to see, though, because it’s not garbage. It’s people’s lives. Their entire lives in a pile on the curb. My family is having to rebuild their lives, but they’re strong. Houston is strong. Texans are strong. We will rebuild. We will overcome this disaster, and we will be stronger because of it.