Sunday, September 03, 2017

Post Hurricane Harvey from Houston

A lot happened between my last post on August 20 and today. The kids did not start school on August 28 as planned and they are now starting on Monday, September 11. Hurricane Harvey is the reason.

Although Houston was not directly hit by Harvey when it made landfall on Friday, August 25 the rain started out slowly that night. It was so slow in fact that some people were fooled on Saturday into thinking that maybe it wasn't going to hit us as hard as they had been saying. Some even went out to watch the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight on Saturday night and were trying to get back home when the deluge happened.

Downtown Houston- Photo by Edward Isamu Nicholas
People found themselves stranded on bridges or they had to turn around and go back to friend's homes. When we woke up on Sunday this is what our city looked like. People had to evacuate their homes and some were rescued in boats by the fire department and first responders. As they day went on ordinary citizens called the "Texas Navy," like my friend Kim Maraldo took their personal boats out and helped save people from their homes. They were amazing.

Stude Park off I-10 & Studewood- Photo by Mary Ann Marucci

In the aftermath of this horrible devastating storm the city and state has really come together. People have been tearing their houses apart, cutting out the wet sheet-rock, throwing out all the damaged things in their houses. 

Yesterday I took Miranda to volunteer at one of her lacrosse teammate's home. The neighborhood I was in was filled with people's belongings, wood, sheet-rock, basically, their homes. It broke my heart. All these people out there working on their homes. 

A Home in the Braeswood neighborhood

I parked on the side of the street to see if she was going to stay there or go to another home and as I was sitting there a woman came up and asked me if I needed anything. She and her husband were out dropping off food and water to people working on their homes. When I went back to pick up Miranda the mom of the home told me one of the mattress companies had just donated 4 mattresses for them.

Ordinary people have been out helping where they can. A friend of mine's home was flooded and a group of my friends went out to help her. I found out too late because I was taking Miranda out to help her friend. When her sister, also my friend called me she was telling me how a woman from the neighborhood just stopped by and asked how she could help. Just like that. 

Businesses all over the city are doing extraordinary things. Jim McInvingvale, or Mattress Mack as he's also known, has opened up two of his locations as shelters. He's letting people sleep on his brand new furniture and providing them restrooms, showers and his restaurant. He also volunteered his company moving trucks to rescue people from their homes and highways. His trucks were out from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday rescuing people. Amazing! 

We were extremely blessed. I woke up on Sunday morning to the downpour. I'm not an early riser but I was up at 6 a.m. and I went out into my foyer, between my back door and my garage, to film the rain and our street. The video is dark but you can hear the water coming down hard and you can kind of see how full the street is. The water only got that far and never even filled my yard. It was like a regular heavy rain day for me. Our neighborhood, Lindale Park, is built higher, our homes are built even higher, and many, like mine, are on pier and beam. I know I have so much to be grateful for. Others, like friends of mine, have not been so fortunate. If you can, please consider giving and donating what you can to the shelters or to people you know. Giving gift cards to people you personally know is a great idea and the money will go further because you're giving directly to them.

video

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