Houston & Hurricane Harvey!
Hi Friends! I know many of you are living though hurricane Harvey and others have been watching it on TV. Thank you for all for your emails and texts from around the globe to make sure we are ok. I can’t tell you how much it is appreciated. So…. I thought I would send you a bit of what we experienced at Segreto.
Friday was business as usual, although the roads were barren and the only commotions and crowds were at the grocery stores and gas stations as people prepared for the storm.
My biggest worry at that time was to get 7 of my crew members who had been in Midland on a job back home to their families. Fortunately they were able to board a flight on Southwest Airlines at 7:44 Friday -looks like my guys were the only ones brave enough to board! I heard from them-several who had never flown before– that the landing at 9:30 Friday night at Houston Hobby was a bit SCARY! Thank you Southwest for getting them home safely to their loved ones at home!!
Saturday in the daytime was not so bad! It definitely was raining hard but I was hopeful that it wouldn’t be as big as what was predicted.
Then I saw this post that Astronaut Randy Bresnik shared of Hurricane Harvey as seen from the International Space Station Friday, along with a message for Texas:
“God Bless Texas, may you weather the storm as you always have!”
Well Saturday night the rains came and came and came!!! We were very thankful and fortunate that our home stayed dry and safe. With a break in the weather Sunday afternoon we went out to check on our neighbors and heard that the back of our subdivision which borders a bayou was completely underwater. Panicked, we went down to see if we could help.
The picture to the left is about midway going back into my neighborhood. The one to the right shows further down the street. There are about 10 homes which are not even visible. I have lived in this neighborhood for 30 years and I have never seen it flood.
The street makes a horseshoe, this is the other side.
The opposite side of our small subdivision was just as bad. Men were swimming in neck high water trying to make a boat ready for transport. There are 5 homes-a tree has fallen over the back home’s driveway. The picture to the right shows the same area after the water receded showing a SUV was totally submerged. My heart sank. We were one small subdivision and one that never flooded-how was the rest of Houston?
I began getting texts from people all around us. This neighborhood, not 2 miles away was totally under water. All families had to be rescued by boat.
The home I grew up in, which my Mom recently sold was totally under water. The water is still rising here with the release of water from the Atticks Dam and Reservoir which is effecting so many subdivisions for miles. The nice neighbor who sent me the picture was evacuated by boat. My heart and prayers go out to all in areas where the water is still rising.
This was the most devastating picture I received from someone I knew. Four Segreto team members lost their homes, and the majority had relatives or friends who did. This shot was taken during a rescue of one of our plaster guys. When I got in contact with him he said “They have taken me and my family to a shelter and given us food. God is good!!” And this is where the story of the strength of our city and all of its’ amazing individuals begins!
It’s that kind of spirit, gratitude and thankfulness I have seen during the past week that shows us all what we are capable of and reminds us that no matter what race, religion, legal status or economic background we are from, we are all connected. From the people that have been in horrific situations to the heroic first responders, to just plain old people helping people and neighbors helping neighbors, it has been a reminder of what the strength of individuals and of the power of a community brings if we all pull together.
These images of people being tested and rising to the occasion have imprinted our memories for years to come. The courage and compassion seen over the past week has been immense.
This is my youngest daughter’s Sammy’s friend Dylan. This was taken Thursday when they went back in the neighborhood where his father lives. They were attempting to get to the second floor and recover basic items-mainly clothes- that may have not been damaged in the flood. Sammy while climbing on the roof to the second floor cut her legs and was stung by a hornet. On a mission, they filled a couple of suitcases and headed back to the front of the subdivision. On their way, an elderly couple waved them down, because they were wanting to evacuate. Stopping to help, the couple was so concerned about Sammy’s bleeding legs that they would not get on the boat until they administered first aid. Folks helping folks- caring more about other’s than themselves-Inspirational!
People even came from other states to help! The Cajin Navy and Cajin Army members with boats rallied and boy were Houstonians happy to see them arrive. The two groups were started because these individuals had faced destruction in their home state of Louisiana, remembered how so many had helped them and wanted to give back. And give back they did! Both organized via social media, they first vet people who reach out to them, and then head their direction, meeting up with others to do what they could to help. These volunteers work long days and nights without pay. Just ordinary people helping others in an extraordinary way.
Houston has a fierce tenacity to survive and flourish and the people who live here simply love their city!! In the coming months there will be much to do to rebuild, and so many who will need our help!
So many people were effected, have lost or have damage to their homes, or have friends and relatives that d0. Our prayers go out to all including our fellow Texans hit hard in Port Author, Beaumont, Rockport, and Corpus Christie to name a few. We are grateful for our wonderful Louisiana neighbors who have helped us so much and pray they will not be severely affected by Harvey. Whether you need to know what to do and where to go during recovery, or if you would like to help those in need I want to direct you to my good friend Marie Flanigan’s Blog and Paper City’s Volunteer Help Guide ! They have done an amazing job of compiling pertinent information!!! All Churches and schools are great avenues which distribute directly to local families and here are a few more options people have sent me!! Please reach out, as there is so much we all can do, and so many people who can be helped!
Greater Houston Community Foundation this is a place that people in need can apply for aid.
Amazon is shipping directly to individuals or relief centers you choose to send to and are donating a percentage of purchases up to 1 million dollars to the relief fund.
Houston Community Collage Design department and their students were hit hard. To donate email Kevin.firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a great article by CBS news: When disaster relief brings anything but relief.
We are here for our friends, clients and the community during this rebuilding process. Stay safe and give much and love your neighbor! My thoughts are with you and your friends and family!