Sep 4, 2017

Hurricane Harvey




I'm sorry it has taken me so long to write this post.  I didn't know where to start or what to say I know that's hard for some of you to believe.  :)  My heart is so heavy for everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey.  So many have lost everything they have ever worked for...and so many don't have flood insurance to put their homes back together and to have some sense of normalcy in their lives again.  My heart breaks for each and every one.

Can you imagine being told it was mandatory to evacuate your home?  In the middle of the night? During a horrible rain storm called Hurricane Harvey?  Our oldest daughter, Tiffani, has a friend that is a single mom with a set of twins.  She had to evacuate her home with a backpack on her back carrying her twins.  She removed two boards on her back fence so they could walk through it.  A friend met them on the other side to take them to a safe place.  Can you imagine putting your children through something like that?

I want to thank those of you who reached out, after Hurricane Harvey, to see if we were okay.  We are fine.  We were one of the lucky ones.  Our streets flooded several times over four days but we were fortunate the water receded once the rain bands passed.

#hurricaneharvey
#harvey
#goaway

All of the fun began on Friday, August 25th as Harvey approached the coast of Texas as a Category 4 hurricane.  The hurricane made landfall at Rockport with winds of 130 mph.  Even though Harvey was so far away, we were receiving a lot of rain from the rain bands.  In fact, the rain band trained right over our area.  There was nothing to move it.  This was the first time our street flooded and the water went over the sidewalk.  It was one crazy night with tornado warnings going off every so many minutes.  It was so bad I called Vivint to turn off our bad weather notification on our home alarm system.  It was so unnerving.  I made a pallet in our bedroom closet so I could watch the local news on my laptop.  Once the training stopped, the hubs went to bed.  I was too wired from all the bad weather and the constant tornado warnings I stayed up all night.  He told me to wake him up if the water got high again but I didn't.  I let him sleep.  I took a nap the next afternoon for a few hours.

I want to thank all our family and friends that stayed in contact with us, through Facebook, making sure we were okay.  Thank you for your prayers.  They were greatly appreciated.

#facebook
#prayers
#sograteful

We had rain like this, off and on, for four days.  All while watching the news and seeing what was taking place all over the city of Houston.  I cried more those four days (and more since then) than any other time that I can remember.  Not for us, but for those that were waiting to be evacuated and were suddenly homeless.  I had resigned we were going to get water in our home and I was okay with it.  I just wanted it to stop.

There were so many pleas on Facebook to have loved ones rescued.  It was gut wrenching.  I couldn't help but have flashbacks of Hurricane Katrina.



This pic was taken on Friday night August 26th at 10 p.m.


I took this pic early Saturday morning on August 27th at 5:18 a.m.

The only damage we had were the large branches that fell from the pine tree.  Take note of the precision of the fall.  Right on top of my flower bed.  :)



Yes, we were the only ones on our street with a pile of branches at the curb.


I have a friend that was spared the flooding of her home.  The water came to her back door and her front door.  She and her husband were under mandatory evacuation and had to be evacuated to a shelter in League City.  She said they were treated like royalty.  During the evacuation her suitcase and clothes (inside) had gotten wet.  A young girl offered to take her laundry home and wash it for her.  Fran being Fran, said no need I just need a blow dryer to dry them off.  The young girl asked Fran for her cell phone number so she could call her when her laundry was done.  Fran said sure enough, she got a call and her laundry was done.  They fed them well.  Fran said she is going to have a pool party to show her appreciation for how good they were treated.  Fran and James were very lucky their home didn't flood.  One side of their street flooded and the other didn't.  Their home was the one in the middle that started the no flood zone.  Incredibly blessed.  So very happy for them.

There are so many amazing and wonderful things about Facebook.  We have a page  on Facebook for our subdivision so we were able to keep each other abreast of what was going on.  Some of them braved the weather and posted pics so we could see how high the water was getting.




It was unbelievable that none of the water overflowed into the backyards.


Here's a pic on Saturday after the water started going down.


Here are pics of the lake near the huge homes.  As you can see, it was way out of its banks.







We were all so blessed the drainage system worked so well.  Everyone kept saying they wanted to know who developed the drainage system because they wanted to thank them for doing such a good job.  Someone found out who was responsible for the good job and contacted them to express our appreciation.  Their response was they were happy for us but not so happy for other areas that didn't fare as well.



We have been in our home for 27 1/2 years.  There is only one other time we came close to flooding and it was in 1984.  The city of Pearland was growing so rapidly and they were building the beltway near 288.  The water rose up to our oak tree.  It scared the bejeezus out of us.  We have carried flood insurance ever since and we will continue to carry it.  It is a small price to pay for a peace of mind.



All in all, Pearland received 57 inches of rain.  I am not going to lie.  There were times I thought we were all going to be under water.  It was that bad.  Everyone was scared.  Some people have lived in their homes for 40 years and they never flooded until now.  It only takes one storm to sit over you home and drop 50+ inches of rain to make it flood.  That's it.

There is a prediction that only 20% of the homes that were flooded have coverage.






Here's a photo someone took when the water was really high...


and the same shot after the water was receding.  Crazy!



We had another very bad and rainy night on Monday night.  I stayed up all night again, listening to the rain pound our roof.  I just knew that was it.  I couldn't comprehend that our drain off had somewhere to go.  Especially after seeing what was taking place all over Houston.  But by some miracle, it stopped raining around 4:15 to 4:30 a.m.  I couldn't believe it.  It stopped.  At least that part of Harvey was over for us.




Here's an overview of our subdivision.  You can see the golf course on the left hand side was under water.  It is unbelievable how well we did.  We are incredibly blessed and very fortunate.


For peace of mind, we manually drained water out of the pool on two separate occasions.  It was unbelievable how well the system worked and the pool never overflowed.  There was one time the wind was blowing so hard the water was blowing over the side of the pool.  Thank goodness we had drains that managed the overflow.




One of the most genius things I have ever seen is a retention pond that has a soccer field built down in it.  There is no doubt this helped keep our subdivision from flooding.




We were so happy to see this photo. It was incredible to see how well the water drained.  All the while I kept wondering where it was going.


There are still many areas that are flooded and subdivisions that are still not able to return home.

Our oldest daughter, Tiffani, and her family evacuated to our home last Tuesday.  Brooke and Brad decided to stay put.  Fortunately they are still doing fine.  Praying it stays that way.  We have really enjoyed the grandkids being here.  Lots of extra hugs and kisses.  :)  We have watched lots of movies (Father of the Bride, Father of the Bride II, Pete's Dragon, Star Wars series, Harry Potter, etc.).  We have been doing lots of coloring, too.


After Harvey left here he made an appearance east of us in Beaumont and then in our home state of Louisiana.  So many people had to be evacuated from their homes while so many were rescued.  Fortunately our family fared well.  The water came within two inches of getting into my brother's home.  I'm so happy they dodged Harvey.

On September 2nd President Trump paid a visit to Pearland.



I don't have any pics to share of all of the destruction that has occurred in so many homes.  I feel like it would be a betrayal to their lives as it is their story to tell.  It is unbelievable and inconceivable how many lives have been turned upside down from Hurricane Harvey.

We ventured out yesterday to bring lunch to some friends who used to live next door.  Their two oldest kids homes flooded and they were cleaning them up.  Driving through the subdivision was gut wrenching.  Seeing home after home completely emptied out with all of their belongings on the curb.  I barely kept my composure as we drove up their driveway.  I made myself pull it together so we could be the support they needed.  We had a very nice visit.  The hubs was able to share his wealth of knowledge on what needed to be replaced, managing their expectations on what would be covered, etc.  I was amazed at how well Lauren was handling the whole thing.  After all, she is still a newlywed (little over a year) and only lived in her home for eight months.  Such a brave and beautiful young lady with lots of love and support from family and friends.


I ask you to please keep Texas and Louisiana in your prayers.

I also ask you to add Montana (fires) and Los Angeles (fires) to your prayers.  Prayer is a powerful thing.  And yes, I am crying again.

Here's a new favorite song of mine from Pete's Dragon.  Hope you enjoy it, too. Be sure and take the time to watch the movie.  You won't be disappointed.  I promise.



Be safe and take care,

xoxoxo

Debbie








2 comments:

  1. Love all the pictures. Thanks again for bringing us lunch. Lauren is lucky she had so many people who have helped her out. She will be forever grateful to everyone. It made me see the good in so many people in Houston and the surrounding areas. So happy to see the Cajun navy come in to help everyone. I know it had to make you proud of your home state. Take care and hopefully we can get together soon.

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    1. Hello Donna, thank you for stopping by. Please tell Lauren I am here if she needs any help or just to have someone to bounce her ideas/choices with. Yes I am so proud of the Cajun Navy. It has been amazing to see so many people reach out. Please let us know if there is anything we can do. And yes, we need to get together soon...hugs! Love ya!

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