Here are some of our Hurricane Harvey pictures from Katy, TX, a city (and suburb) west of Houston.
Rob and I have ridden out a hurricane before. We hunkered down with Sawyer (our oldest), who was about four months old. The winds were INSANE and terrifying and rains flooded our street overnight. We lost power for two weeks and lived between our home and other family members’ homes.
Hurricane Harvey has been a totally different beast.
Last night, water lapped at the front and back doors. We went through the house, lifting carpets and putting books and photos up on higher shelves. We moved our social security cards and birth certificates. I put my wedding dress on a top shelf in my closet. We packed bags of what we thought we might need.
We talked about boats. About climbing to the second story of our tree house, since we are a single-story home. Rob inflated a raft we bought years ago at Big Lots and anchored it with a dog leash to our grill. (see our video HERE. )
Every five minutes, our phones alert us to a new tornado or flash flood warning.
Our dogs followed us nervously through the house, peering with us out the front door. The water moved through the darkness from the middle of our sidewalk to the door in half an hour. Our street became a rushing stream of water, headed toward the drainage bayous (if you’re not from Texas, you might call it a ditch or creek) across from our house.
We’ve been through a hurricane, but we haven’t seen anything like Hurricane Harvey.
What choices can you make in a hurricane?
For people not in Texas, you may not realize that in addition to dangerous waters, there are misplaced alligators and venomous snakes. Fire ants are in the water and will bite while submerged. I saw a video of a wild boar running through a subdivision.
When you are in the midst of a hurricane, every decision seems like a bad one. You just have to choose the best BAD choice.
My parents tried to go to my brother’s house, which has a second story. They are in the path of one of the reservoirs, which the city corps of engineers is opening and it’s hard to know how much water will move their way. Almost immediately they reached high water and stalled out.
They abandoned their car and had to walk home in thigh-deep water, leaving behind all the things they had packed for evacuation. It has since been stolen.
My brother got stuck on the highway, with all the exits flooded.
Friends were rescued (and I do mean rescued) by boats.
Local high schools are taking in thousands of people. No beds. No supplies. Just a dry spot for those who don’t have one.
People are losing everything.
From the outside, decisions may not make sense. You may not get why the city didn’t evacuate or why people stayed in their homes and got trapped or went out and got trapped. Again, there are no GOOD decisions. Our mayor encouraged people to stay. Evacuation for Rita over ten years ago meant the loss of more than 100 lives. There are no easy answers.
Please, as you watch, be gracious with people. I’ve seen judgment about what people are doing with pets or families and a million other things. We can choose to do that. Or we can choose to be HELPFUL instead. Be encouraging. Be kind.
We are all making the best choices we can, between one bad idea and another.
What can you do to help victims of Hurricane Harvey?
For now, the usual avenues are helpful: prayer, donating to national organizations that are providing rescue and relief efforts.
You can also do odd things to show support. As a blogger and writer, I know that sharing blogs and books on social media and telling friends is incredibly helpful.
Such a small thing, but to those of us getting ad revenue from pageviews or income from book sales, that could mean a lot. If you have friends who have other small businesses in the affected regions, consider how you can share their links and support them. (Here’s another local blogger’s post about Hurricane Harvey and one from my friend at GrrFeisty, who got over 12 inches in her house.)
You don’t have to click ads, just visit blogs. Share them. Promote people and businesses you love. Seems like a small thing, but it can actually have a big impact.
What will be left after Hurricane Harvey?
The devastation outside the window and a few miles away is incredible.
We woke this morning to less rain (but still rain). The water is back toward the street with a safe buffer (for now) between there and the doors. The rain isn’t over yet—not for days, they project.
Dry for now, with power and food and family, we have much to be thankful for.
We are hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst, just in case. Five kids and three dogs (two of whom are over 100 pounds) do NOT make for an easy evacuation plan.
People are rising to the occasion. Neighbors are helping neighbors and people with private boats and large vehicles are posting on Facebook that they will rescue anyone who calls. The goodwill is amazing.
We’re going to need it. From everywhere. For months. Years? I don’t know what it will take to recover.
We are high and dry (for now) inside dealing with the same problems we often do on a daily basis: bored and hungry kids. Fighting over the toys. Cleaning ups messes. Muddy dog paws on the carpet.
It’s just that today the backdrop is 6 million GALLONS of water in our city. Check out these photos close to me where Hurricane Harvey impacted Katy, TX. You can watch my video after the worst of it (so far) here on Facebook.
But our city is amazing. People are resilient and the support of the people we know around the country has been such an encouragement!