The water was almost up to my husband’s waist when the Coast Guard came and said we had to evacuate. Our two kids were soaking wet, their tennis shoes dripping water as they climbed on the rescue boat. One of my neighbors had her toddler with her and we were all in the boat, trying to make him giggle! But none of us had any idea where we were going or when we would be able to come back home.
Across the street, my parents and the Chicagos (as in Chris Chicago from the NGEN Afternoon Show) were trying to figure out if they could stay, or if they had to evacuate. A funny thing happened as my parents and grandma were leaving on a Coast Guard boat. My mom saw the Chicagos and yelled at them to get out! (In awesome puertorrican style, of course! Go Mami!) Haha!
At first, we all did our best to stay positive. We prayed. We joked about the whole “I hope my cell phone survives” situation. But at the same time, we were trying to shield our phones from the rain, trying to text family and friends to make sure they were ok. And I thank God my friend Kasey had texted me, asking if we needed help because it turned out we did.
Variations on this story happened to so many people all over our city of Houston. I was going to write “thousands”, but a quick Google search revealed that Harvey affected 13 million people in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky. I don’t think I realized it got that far! We were too busy trying to figure out how and when we’d be able to go buy food because we were completely flooded in and couldn’t go anywhere.
Imagine that you have hurricane food and supplies for the 3 people in your home, and all of a sudden you find yourself rescuing a family. Now you have 7 people to feed. We legitimately wondered when it would stop raining, how long till the flood waters receded and when we’d be able to get more food. I low key wondered if we’d have enough.
That’s crazy when you think about it.
It’s also crazy to think that all this all happened just 365 days ago.
We thank God for how He protected us. Houston survived the “largest rainfall event recorded in U.S. History,” Hurricane Harvey. Many of us survived floods that were described using words like catastrophic and apocalyptic. But we also experienced the unrelenting love of a city that showed the world what Houston Strong means.
It was amazing to see so many churches rising up and sending teams of people to help repair homes, provide meals, care for first responders and truly show the love of Christ.
Maybe you’re reading this and you were one of the people who risked their safety, going out to rescue anyone who needed it.
It’s possible that you opened up your home to relatives who got displaced.
You might have prepared meals or bought needed supplies to donate and help as many people as you could. Perhaps you hauled buckets and fans and dehumidifiers and ALL THE CLEANING SUPPLIES.
Some of you even helped pull flooded furniture out of a house or helped dry damaged photos to try to save them (thank you, Janet and Erin for doing that for us!)
We thank God for bringing us through Harvey stronger than before. Houston Strong.
And for everything you did after Harvey, your NGEN fam says THANK YOU.
NGEN Midday Show host
If you’re looking for ways to help the families that are still displaced one year later, we hope these resources help:
- Houston Recovers
- Volunteer Houston
- Rebuilding Together Houston
- Salvation Army
- Check with your local church
- Share YOUR events/drives with us via email: DJ@NGENRadio.com
And here are some interesting Harvey facts: