Three Penny Press

  • March 27click "view all" to TELL US your future plans!!!

Filed under Columns/Editorials

Harvey survivor shares thoughts in wake of devastating hurricane

Advertisement

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






51 inches.

The most rain from a single storm in the continental U.S. 117 hours. The longest a named storm has stayed on land. 30,000 people in shelters. 56,000 calls to 911. 83 lost.

But this storm was more than just numbers. It was, and still is, a catastrophe beyond measure.

My street had never flooded before this storm. Though I live close to Braes Bayou, I have been lucky in the past. The Memorial Day and Tax Day floods, for me, consisted of helping friends clean their houses out. My house stayed dry, but I witnessed the devastation that these floods caused for others.

The day Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, my house, family and neighbors witnessed that devastation firsthand.

The saying goes that there is a calm before the storm. But I found, in this instance, there was a panic before the storm. There was a rush to put everything on counters, to take furniture upstairs and to pack the valuables. We were doing everything to keep them from the water that was slowly creeping up the driveway.

But the moment the water entered the house, the calm hit. Not peacefulness, because so many things would be destroyed, but calm in the sense that there was nothing more that could be done. Nothing more could be lifted. Nothing more could be saved.

I continue to emphasize how lucky I am. My house was two stories, so my family was able to move upstairs. My dog, not used to being on the second floor, was anxious, but safe. I was lucky, and while I sat through the storm, that idea was reinforced.

My house has large windows in the front that look out onto the street below. These were the windows I sat in front for two days while the street, and then my house, fill with water. Through these windows, I watched people evacuated by the National Guard, pets carried to safety, boats row down the street and cars fill with water. Pieces of people’s lives were seen floating by. An eerie quiet settled over the neighborhood, punctuated only by an occasional motor or shout in the distance. With the power out, and no way to leave the house, boredom set in. But my mind refused to turn off, thinking not only of the damages happening inside my own home, but of my friends, who I knew were not as fortunate as I had been.

There was nothing left to do but wait it out. And so we did. For 48 hours, five feet of water remained on the street and 14 inches in the house. Then finally, we were able to leave and start the next phase.

In the following days, we threw out everything the flood water had ruined. Hours upon hours were spent trashing possessions and ripping the walls out of our home.

If my street and house had witnessed devastation, my two best friends definitely had survived something beyond words. The destruction the water had wrought on their homes and families was insurmountable, but I did all I could to help them in any way they needed, as did everyone around me. The sense of community that was invoked in the days following the storm revealed the true colors of our city. Neighbors reached out to neighbors. Strangers helped anyone they could. The city rallied, proving our strength and unity were undeterred.

I never dreamt that nature could wreak so much havoc. I never thought such a small number could cause so much destruction. But, 51 inches later, here Houston sits, in the aftermath of the chaos that we will rebuild from.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Visuals

    DECA First Responder Slideshow

  • Columns/Editorials

    Miracle Baby

  • Video

    Broadcast Vlog 3 Naja Cooks Pizza

  • Harvey survivor shares thoughts in wake of devastating hurricane

    News

    Hamilton Education Program Comes to Houston

  • Harvey survivor shares thoughts in wake of devastating hurricane

    News

    Black Box Theatre

  • Harvey survivor shares thoughts in wake of devastating hurricane

    News

    AP Saturday Review Sessions

  • Harvey survivor shares thoughts in wake of devastating hurricane

    News

    Ask-Me-Anything on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

  • Harvey survivor shares thoughts in wake of devastating hurricane

    News

    Senior Pop Show

  • Harvey survivor shares thoughts in wake of devastating hurricane

    Sports

    Andre Ingram’s Big Breakthrough

  • Harvey survivor shares thoughts in wake of devastating hurricane

    News

    Students celebrate Earth Day

The student news site of Bellaire High School
Harvey survivor shares thoughts in wake of devastating hurricane