The Sun Shines Again
Harvey has gone. As I write this on Wednesday morning, easternmost Texas and western Louisiana are getting hit hard by driving rains from Harvey but we are sitting here with clear skies and bright sunshine. We were very lucky. We had 22" of rain here while Peggy had more than 32" at her house. My daughter, who lives south of Houston and much too close to the Brazos River for my comfort, received over 40" of rain. That is a truly unprecedented amount of rain.
None of us lost power. None of us had flood waters in our homes. None of us had to be rescued. We were well and truly lucky. My son-in-law works for the electric company and is in disaster mode working long hours to keep the power on in the greater Houston area. Bless him and all his fellow workers.
Harvey Day 1 was last Thursday. Harvey was still offshore then but we were working hard to pick up anything that could be thrown around by tropical storm level winds. We are too far to the north and east of Harvey's landfall in the Corpus Christi area to expect hurricane force winds. We never even had tropical storm force winds here so only had a few small twigs down out of the trees and were never in danger of losing our roof.
Harvey Days 2 - 5 all run together in my mind. We had mostly constant rain, sometimes light and sometimes heavy. Feeding the animals required foul weather gear. I rotated the animals into the barn so they all could be dry at some point. We had water leaking into the window by our bed the night of the hardest rain. I was never concerned that we might flood since we are pretty high up and surrounded by open pasture land but I was constantly worried about our kids and grand kids and about Peggy and her kids. At one point we drove down the road to check the drive down to I10. We didn't make it. At the 4th place where there was water over the road we turned around and came home. One afternoon Ron ventured into Columbus and stopped at the grocery store. There was food on the shelves and lots of people shopping.
Mostly we huddled in the house watching the news reports of Harvey. It was horrible. There was too much information but also not enough. It raised my blood pressure and was disturbing to watch family after family being rescued by emergency personnel. It was horrible but captivating at the same time. I didn't want to watch but couldn't turn away. Our news people did a pretty good job although I was ready to scream at one point when they yet again asked some poor drenched person if they had ever seen it this bad before. Seriously? No one has ever seen it this bad before.
Our local city and county personnel were wonderful. They gave out good information and did a great job of coordinating the endless activities required to maintain and run the disaster services.
By Harvey Day 6, Tuesday, Ron drove into Sealy to go to the big Walmart. The roads were clear and the clouds were lifting. He picked up some food but there were vast areas of the store with empty shelves. No bread, no meat and very little produce. We saw a bit of sun.
Wednesday was Harvey Day 7 and I woke up to clear skies and brilliant sun. We have mostly gotten everything put back where it needs to be. My car came out of the barn and is back under the carport. The big truck is still sitting on the gravel driveway but will go back behind the barn when that ground dries out a bit more. Hanging plants have been hung up again, outdoor furniture is back on the porch. It looks like we are almost back to normal. That's just how lucky we are.
There are hundreds of thousands of folks in Houston who won't be back to normal for a very long time. For the lucky ones it may be days or weeks. But it may be months. Or even years. The roads have already started to drain and may to open to traffic in the next few days. Then maybe some of the convoys of food and water and other relief coming to us from all over the county will be able to get into Houston. Thank you to all who are thinking of us.
And thank you to all the concerned individuals who pulled their boats into town and started saving people. And to the Cajun Navy who came from Louisiana to help. Now those same intrepid folks are headed back to Louisiana to help save the people there who will need them. It will take a huge amount of work and time and money for Houston to get back to normal. And it will take people at all levels to help. From the local level to the city, county, state and national level. Please give if you can. Food and water will help. Offer your extra bedroom if you have one to someone who could use it. Give money or buy supplies for all those in shelters.