Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Houston Flood

NOTE: None of the following pictures are my own. They are borrowed from friends, the ABC 13 Houston Facebook page, or the hashtag #houstonflood.

I'm just popping in to give y'all a quick update from Houston. H-Town, or H-Drown, if you prefer. Though I'm not making light of the situation. As the first story on the World News tonight, you guys have probably heard about the absolute devastation that hit Houston late yesterday evening and early this morning. I've lived in Houston my entire life - aside from the four years I spent in Austin - and I have never seen anything like this. And I remember Hurricane Allison, and more recently, Hurricane Ike. After what was just a regular thunderstorm, our entire city was essentially under water.

The rain started yesterday evening around 8:00pm, and it just didn't stop. And it wasn't so much the rain, but the lightning and thunder didn't let up, either. And that was a problem for me because I had yet to take a shower, and there was no way I was about to get in the shower in the middle of a light show. It ended up working out, though, because school was canceled all over Houston today. But more on that in a minute.

When I went to sleep, there was a flash flood watch in effect until 11:45pm. The rain was supposed to let up around 2:00am. The flash flood watch was pushed back to 12:45pm, and then 2:45pm, and finally, my mom came into my room around 4:45am saying that Houston ISD was on a two-hour delay. While I wasn't necessarily worried about my getting to school (though there was no way I was getting to school), I worried about my students getting to school, as some of them lived right in the Bellaire/Meyerland area, which got absolutely slammed. And on top of that, the Metro wasn't even running. They finally made the call to cancel school, and I went back to sleep for a couple of hours.

I felt as though I was in an alternate universe when I woke up to sun streaming into my windows. Wasn't I wading through ankle (and higher)-deep water just last night in an attempt to get to the fridge in our garage? I went on a bike ride around my neighborhood, just to survey the damage, and I can gratefully say that we seemed to fare pretty well. Other neighborhoods and areas of town, not so much. Creeks overflowed, bayous ran over their banks, and it was truly like nothing I've ever seen before. It hit us so fast, and many people had no choice but to stay right where they were. For some, that was the Toyota Center, where (thankfully) we managed to get our first win in the series against Golden State. My brother ended up staying at his friend's house, because none of them were able to actually leave the house until sometime this morning.

Mayor Annise Parker advised Houston residents to stay inside, because many of the streets and highways were still experiencing quite a few feet of water. And some of them still are. The water actually seemed to be receding fairly quickly, but that doesn't take away the panic and chaos that many Houston residents went through last night and early this morning. And all day today, really. Trust me, we've been there, and there are not many feelings worse than helplessly watching water invade your home. 

My heart goes out to those who are dealing with feet of water in their houses and cars, those who were stranded on the freeway, and most devastatingly, those who lost their lives as a result of the weather. I think it's safe to say that the city of Houston was in a state of shock today, and my fingers are crossed that the rain lets up enough to let this round of water drain. And here's to finishing out this school year, because I don't think anyone was expecting this one. One year it's ice day after ice day, and the next, school is canceled due to flash floods. It's anybody's call what crazy weather next year will bring us!

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