It started like any other hurricane/storm we have had before. You load up on water, batteries, and just a little bit of extra food just in case, but it’s going to be just like any other storm we’ve had before. “There’s nothing to worry about.” You think to yourself as you prepare like you always have. We’ve lived through Katrina, Rita, and Ike; the older generations thought they saw the worst of it with Allison, or the deadly floods of 94. It’s just like any other storm. Maybe a few places will flood, I mean we’re Houston we have places that are prone to flooding, it’s happened before. It’s just like any other storm.
The winds and heavy rain starts coming. No worries, a few trees may fall here or there, our power may or may not go out. We’ve lived through it before. It’s just like any other storm. You have the news channel on TV and see that there is some flooding starting to begin. It’s nothing new, it’s happened before; those areas of the city are prone to flooding. It’s just like any other storm.
But the rain doesn’t stop. If you’re lucky enough to have power you see on the news neighborhoods underwater that have never even come close to flooding before. And if you don’t have power… well you found out the worst way possible. You begin to realize “maybe I should try to get out before it gets worse for me” but before you know it, it already got worse for you. You are trapped in your neighborhood. The roads are too dangerous to even attempt to drive through. The rain still hasn’t stopped.
It goes from bad to worse overnight. The rain hasn’t stopped. The creeks, rivers, lakes, and dams are all over flowing. You don’t want to go to sleep because you’re scared your house might be next. You go from knowing your street won’t flood because it hasn’t in the past, to fearing that you’ll wake up the next morning underwater. You go from feeling bad about other parts of the city, to “maybe I should pack a bag of essentials in case I need to be rescued”. If you have pets you have to figure out a way to bring them wherever it is you might need to go and realize they might not even be welcome.
The rain still hasn’t stopped. You don’t even know if you’ll have a job next week. You can’t drive to help your family across the city; you can’t even call your family across the city because their phone died with their power a long time ago. The rain still has not stopped. You are stuck in your house (if you’re the lucky few) and you are helpless. It was not just like any other storm. This was not what anyone expected.
I just want to say a huge thank you to all of the first responders, the coast guard, the army reserves, and just people from around the state and country that have come to help Houston and the surrounding areas that were majorly affected by hurricane/tropical storm Harvey. Thank you to the people who have kept us in your prayers. I wanted to use my platform here to reach out to everyone and kind of give insight into what it was like to experience this disaster. I am very lucky that my house didn’t get flooded, but we lost power for 2 days, and our surrounding area was so flooded we couldn’t get out until yesterday afternoon. If you want to help here is an article posted by NPR with lists of different ways you can help: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/28/546745827/looking-to-help-those-affected-by-harvey-here-s-a-list
Also published on Medium.