Nine days ago I was rescued by boat from my front porch, and it’s been a Hurricane Harvey ride every since. In the beginning we did not feel this small hurricane would be an issue for us in Houston. It was set to hit Corpus Christi dead on which is 4 hours west of us. However, hurricanes have a mind of their own and Harvey decided to hit Rockport, Tx just about an hour and half west of us and then he decided to hang around.
It’s like Harvey was a grumpy old man shuffling along, unsure of where he wanted to go. As Harvey hung over the west of us we received what they call the ‘dirty side’ of Harvey. It rained and rained and rained. It would not stop raining. Not just a little shower, or even a storm that comes in strong for 30 minutes and then fades away, no, Harvey was a constant, steady, onset of rain. I used to love the sound of rain…
Even with the rain we thought we were safe. It was just rain after all. Our area, Kingwood, and most of Houston had survived Hurricane Ike so we had this. Ike was wind and trees falling all around… but rain? Phst that’s nothing.
By Monday, August 28th our friends who live about 4 streets away from us were beginning to see a lake form on the golf course behind their house… when we heard the rain was not going to stop for days they decided to put furniture upstairs and pack up. It happened to be his birthday too so Neal and I decided to have some fun…
By that evening we had a group of teens at the house, some of their parents too watching old videos of our boys when they were 6 and 7 years old. Finally, our friends kayaked over to the house (yes kayaked) and we hunkered down for the evening. At this point it wasn’t that high at all in our street, we were the SAFE house. It was only in our street.
By 2am it was coming our mailbox… we had two neighbors park their trucks in front of our house…and I gauged the water by how high up the truck it was getting.
By 4:30 it was half way up the wheel of the truck… mid-way to our yard. This is when I realized that we might not be in a good position any more. I took video and pictures of our house and my friend helped me put all of my pictures upstairs. I looked around at all of our furniture and realized we were simply too late to move anything, besides our upstairs couldn’t hold it.
By 7:30am we had other our next door neighbors at our house, scared to death with their one year old…the water was up to our porch… and up to the bed of the trucks. The current was really flowing now in the street. And another neighbor showed up in his boat. We gave everyone coffee and dried off the group that came in from the boat.
That is when the plan was made, we needed to get to safety because clearly this house was not going to be safe long. My friend, Amanda, from Louisiana called her friends and there was a plan set. PK, the neighbor with the boat took the teens, and the young family away to safety.
We stayed and tried to communicate with other elderly neighbors to see who needed to get our next. Slowly the water started to come into the house.
By 8:30am we had a few inches in the house and Bailey and Millie, my dogs, had no idea what was going on. I had to put then up on a marble entryway that was higher than our floor to keep them safe. At one point Bailey got off and needed to pee, then threw up and the vomit was simply floating through the house, what was once the living room. I share this not to make you sick, but to understand the absurdness of the moment.
By 9:30am I realized I had these two dogs, Bailey, 14 1/2, that couldn’t barely stand, and Millie, who hated water. I needed to get them out. The water was up to the mid-window of the trucks. So the Cajun Navy came and got me. When I got in the boat and we took off one of the men said, “Hey, watch out.” And my shoulder hit the TOP of the stop sign on the corner of our street. I’ll never forget that every time I look UP at that stop sign to see how high we were.
I think their names are Jonathan Starks (?) and Jay Speedo (?)…. from Baton Rouge, LA…if you know them please let me know!!!!
I got off that boat and was met by my friend, Amanda’s friend, who took my wet dogs in her nice car…and we met my other friend, Kerry who took me to her house and put me in her warm clothes and then took me to meet my in-laws where I stayed with the dogs. That entire day I was in shock. What just happened?? Even in the midst of all this chaos I felt at peace. No matter what we will be ok.
I received this video from a neighbor escaping his house and it shows our house at 11am. Where the water is up nearly over the roof of the trucks. By the time my husband left (he had been helping PK on the boat rescue neighbors), he left at 2:30pm …. it was clearly over the trucks and a raging river.
Two days later we were finally able to go in and found dead fish on our floors, turtles in the living room, catfish in the pool. The stench was too much to bare. Everything on the bottom floor was destroyed. There was a 3 ft water line on our walls… clothes, furniture, all three of our cars, GONE.
Then two days later that I was able to go into my offices, my brand new offices that we had JUST FINISHED DECORATING on that Friday. I walked up to see the outside railings to the stairs obliterated and then walked into the office to find complete destruction. A 6 ft water line. The furniture had literally been floating around and ended up in various rooms, some chairs on top of desks, the heavy wood desks toppled over. Papers, furniture, etc gone.
And to complete the destruction two days after seeing my offices, this Monday, my dog Bailey declined so much so that we had to put her down. That was the final straw for me.
But even with all this destruction and loss, I know we are blessed. GOD HAS SHOWN HIMSELF IN SO MANY WAYS throughout this last week. Through the people he sent to help us gather our lives back in order, who gave us warm clothes, hot meals, and a place to live, even cars to drive. To the angels who are immediately stepping up to donate what my office needs to get back to work once it’s rebuilt.
I know I will have so much more to say, I just wanted to share what has been going on. I am still helping a friend clear out her garage, so back to work I go. This is a marathon, not a race. That was the best thing I was told as this all took place. This is my life now for the next 8-12 months. And I know God will bring a greater good from it all.