HOUSTON, Tex. – The four of us – my husband, his parents, and I – are sitting in a dimly lit living room in Summer Lakes, a subdivision in Rosenberg, all on laptops, keeping ourselves updated on Hurricane Harvey, as we have been since it was first announced in the forecast just days ago.
The dogs – a basset hound, a black lab, and a collie-shepherd mutt – all sit quietly waiting for the next moment of excitement. The cat is curled atop of the oversized recliner, steering clear of the basset who likes the kinetic dog toy, not paying any mind to the rain pounding against the windows and filling up puddles in the backyard.
We know how lucky we are compared to the rest of Houston as we watch the devastation impact the major city and its surrounding communities, only dealing with the flooding that will not reach our house because it sits on an incline.
But this isn’t about feeling lucky. This is about living in the South for as long as I have – from Alabama to Louisiana, now Texas – and feeling overwhelmed by the insanity brought forth by Hurricane Harvey. I’ve dealt with my fair share of brutal summers and crazy thunderstorms, but nothing as chaotic as I’ve seen unfold before me – whether on a TV screen or just taking a look outside.
Just yesterday, a sinkhole developed on a major highway that runs parallel to our neighborhood. The road is FM 762, and the sinkhole eventually took over the rest of the pavement, leaving it impassable.
Rivers and reservoirs have been overflowing with so much water that decisions were made for a controlled release, leaving some homes in the area to be flooded. However, without a controlled release, the damage would have been even more major and devastating.
The Brazos River, a watershed that runs through Richmond, has a crest of just 45 feet but is set to reach 59 feet, breaking the previous record of 54.7 feet set just last year.
Dozens of communities in the area, like Sienna Plantation and Pecan Grove, have been placed under mandatory evacuation. Heroic rescues have become a common placement, whether there’s a stranded family on the roof waiting on a helicopter or an elderly couple waiting for a small boat to help them aboard.
The news online is about as nonstop as the rain. It is almost 5:00 p.m. here, and it has been pouring since about 9:00 a.m., with almost no break. Watching emergency personnel working around the clock, victims wade in the water to escape the torrent that far overstayed its welcome in their home … and all we can do is watch. And pray.
UPDATED 7:46 P.M. CST
Upon a request from the National Guard Bureau, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has authorized Alabama Adjutant General Sheryl Gordon to send two CH-47 Chinook Helicopters and two UH-60M medical aircraft, along with their respective crews, to assist in recovery efforts in Texas as a response to Hurricane Harvey.
“One of the hallmarks of the American spirit is the desire to help each other when disaster strikes,” said Gov. Ivey. “Alabama is proud to help our friends in Texas through lending our National Guard resources and offering our prayers and continued support in the days of recovery which lie ahead.”
Jennifer Coulter-Scott for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.