Friday, August 25, 2017

Hurricane Harvey

Doug and I had finally made big plans to go and see Coldplay with some friends when Hurricane Harvey decided to make landfall. Initially we didn't think it would be bad. It was a Category 2 when it hit south Texas and we thought the weathermen were just excited about the storm. The concert was cancelled so we opted to take the families to eat sushi instead. After dinner we made a quick trip to the grocery store to stock up on some necessities "just in case". HEB had some basics but there wasn't much on the shelves.

Well, sure enough the storm got stronger but it was so big and moved so slow that it dropped almost 60 inches of rain on our city. We sat inside for several days watching the water level rise in the street. It rained hard for several days. I usually enjoy the sound of rain but after awhile it was unnerving.  We couldn't get out of our neighborhood but thankfully our home was safe. Sadly we had several friends in Kingwood that weren't so lucky. We sat and watched the news all day seeing all the people who had lost their homes. It was just devastating and at the same time so beautiful. We saw numerous stories of people from other cities gathering friends and coming to Houston to help. There was the Cajun Navy from Louisiana and a group of fishermen from Waco that came into this disaster zone to help save people. Businesses opened their doors to those who lost their homes and stores were giving away boats for rescue purposes.

After several days of being flooded in, the storm finally moved west and we had some reprieve. We needed to get to Kingwood to start helping people but the 2 bridges in our area were flooded so we had to detour around the city. We knew we needed to help the Hennings. They had recently moved into a 1 story house for Nicolas. I'm sure you've read about Nicolas in my posts. He is a freshman now at KPark High School and has cerebral palsy. An absolutely awesome kid. Well, they got a little over 3 feet of water in their home and with only a very small loft area upstairs, they lost almost everything. It was just heartbreaking. When we arrived at their home I think the Hennings were overwhelmed. We did our best to call for more help and the Eatons and Wellmanns joined. A few of the Hennings friends came too and it was time to work!

For as sad as the moment was I couldn't believe how the day went. The Hennings handled it beautifully. I was so proud of them. The kids worked just as hard as the adults. The adults worked like crazy for 2 days to clear the house, rip carpet out and remove baseboards and sheet rock.
Sadly all 250 of the homes in the Barrington neighborhood flooded. It was shocking to drive in and out of the neighborhood and see this on every front lawn. But this home caught me with a cross standing right near their pile of debris. These families have a long way to go before their homes are restored but we know they will be taken care of by so many who surround them and the big man upstairs too!
On a fun note, as of February 2018 the Hennings are back in their home. Still work to be done and furniture to purchase but Debbie loves it. She said 2.0 is better than the original and I agree, it looks beautiful!

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