“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” ― Haruki Murakami
I am grateful to be on the other side of the deluge Harvey brought us. The restoration of the gulf coast will take time and money. Personally this experience has already restored my soul and my faith in humanity. People have been amazing. Help from everywhere! Literally jumping in and risking their lives to save others! I can’t really put in words the range of emotions I have experienced. Several days tears would overflow my own banks.
It was comforting as the world pulled together and was pulling for us. Houston is enormous yet has such a small town feel. I live in The Heights about 3 miles from downtown. My neighborhood is 23 feet higher than downtown and we only had street and right of way flooding. The one thing we worried about was our trucks flooding. Kind neighbors let us share their driveways. As soon as possible local small businesses opened their doors to collect donations to take to shelters. This is Big Blue Whale a lovely toy store here in the Heights. We helped them get some of the donations to shelters. Down House, a local cafe, was open and collecting donations; and when all the local shelters were full they took trucks to Refugio. The generous spirit that surrounds us is amazing!
We live near White Oak bayou which crested its bank and came into the Heights. This is our entrance. You can’t see the garden that our local Heights Garden Club keeps beautiful.
Here is a video of White Oak bayou where the water above came from into the Heights. This is on day three and the water has receded back into the upper banks. The bike path and walking trail along its banks emerging from the water. At one point the buildings at the end of the clip had several feet of water in them. (Video will right itself once it starts playing.)
Further along Waugh Drive is Buffalo Bayou, we were heading south, looking west on our way to George R. Brown Convention center to drop off donations. This is the bayou downstream from the reservoirs so still quite high until they can relieve all the pressure from the damns. That is said to take another 15 days. The bridge hosts a bat colony and we saw pictures of people rescuing some of the bats. Everyone suffers in a epic storm like this one.
The first couple of days we were glued to the TV. The local reporting was excellent and it helped save lives. It was scary to see pictures like this knowing it was with in a few miles of our home! There are still places under water both north and south of us along the coast.
Rain fall totals: It is hard to describe how it feels to receive 34+ inches of rain in a 4 day period. The skies were dark for days and it just rained and rained. Normal rainfall for a year is 50″. This is our total for the last 12 months. I check this site regularly. Owning a landscape design build company means you are at the mercy of the weather.
It is too wet! I am not really complaining, okay maybe a little. Hearing about water shortages and forest fires from my family in California and Oregon make it hard to complain. Why oh why, can’t we give them some of this rain! Here are my soggy Rain Lilies ( Zephyranthes.) Who knows where the mulch is : )
I am so touched by all the folks that have reached out to check on us! All through the storm I had emails and messages on Facebook. I had lots of comments and encouraging words on my Instagram posts from people I have never met but connect with via pictures. I think it will take a long time to process all that we have been though and as Haruki Murakami says, we will never be the same. I know one thing, this shared experience has made my roots grow deep in this clay soil. Houston is finally home!
P.S. Many have asked how they can help. There are many many people helping collect goods and money to help those that need it. One group that is always helping is the Houston Food Bank. You can be assured your money is used to feed the hungry!
Blessings to you all! Laurin and Shawn