Its bad, really bad. We live in a small city north of the main metropolis of Houston and although parts of our neighborhood are flooded we are on higher ground than most. Maybe you just think of a skyscraper city but in reality we are one of the largest cities in America with a population of 6 million people. Before people it was, and still is, a very large delta system on low lying land draining into the Gulf of Mexico. You could compare it to somewhere like Bangladesh but we have many more resources (and oil refineries).
You might wonder why we didn’t evacuate but this storm developed very quickly and you need to plan very carefully to change road systems. In any case, how do you evacuate 6 million people and where would we go? We learned some lessons from previous evacuations. More people will die on roads than if they stay at home, even if it is flooding. This is a catastrophic weather event and Rockport is devastated. Every waterway in the greater Houston area has flooded its banks.
Teddy is stuck in Utah because all flights have been cancelled. He is now planning to travel on Monday from Utah, to Denver, to Austin and then take a rental car. Right now he could not drive from Austin to our home as all routes are flooded. He is in panic mode because he feels frustrated being so far from home. I had to counsel him to calm down and think rationally. He was running out of medication that you cannot stop immediately without a risk of death so he phoned United Healthcare and that was sorted. Then I persuaded him that getting here is low on his priorities and all work meetings will be postponed. I picked up my cell phone just now and had to delete 6 messages (in the last hour) regarding flash floods, tornadoes and other issues in my immediate area.
The photographs show what it is like in my yard which is not in a flood zone during the heavy bands of the storm. One blessing is that it comes in waves which allows water to dissipate somewhat, ready for the next wave. It calmed down about an hour ago, so I put on my ancient rain boots (that I now know are leaking) and my rain poncho. Debris had floated down my French drain (dry creek) blocking the water flow like beavers’ dams, so I gathered it all up and went to visit some of my neighbors, especially the older ones. Although we are not in immediate danger, this is a really stressful situation. We worry about ourselves and even more so about all the people in danger. As soon as this leaves (and this will not finish for days), I intend to go back to volunteering. There will be many Red Cross and other volunteers/federal workers travelling through the airport with specific staging instructions.
On a final hilarious but poignant note, I noticed that one of the volunteer airboats had two men dressed in camouflage and a giant Confederate flag on the side. I suspect the flag was always there but as I said to my friend, they could be wearing full Nazi regalia and I would get on their boat!!! Houston has historically been a bonded, community oriented city no matter our ethnicity. The good Samaritans that you have seen are working incredibly hard in dangerous situations. Outside help cannot reach us so the authorities have asked anyone with a safe boat to help the rescue. So, if you really think that ANY MORE STATUES need to be removed and be protested about, please reconsider and put all your efforts into helping Texas recover from this. If you have nothing else to do, we will need people to raise money, actively volunteer, remove debris and rebuild. This is a time to think about what it means to be a community member and a proud American.