Harvey update

2017-09-04

This is coming from the heart of the GLSA on the Harvey Hurricane.  The storm hit the shore Thursday August 24th as a Cat 4 storm about 150 miles south of Houston.  Initially, the Storm hit the Texas coast on Thursday August 24th without any affect to Houston.  The rain began hitting Houston Area Friday morning.  What we thought was a normal effect of a Hurricane. Turned into a nightmare. After a strange turn of events, the hurricane moved up the Texas Coast like a buzzsaw. The storm nested itself just off the Texas Coast sending waves of heavy rain on the Houston Area.  Since it was off the coast, the storm had a vacuum effect on the water and dumped 54 inches on the Houston area.  All areas of Houston were affected.  No area was unscathed.

We had tremendous flooding in Dickinson, Texas where no flooding had ever occurred before.  Flooding occurred in the north in the Kingwood area sending water of the banks of the San Jacinto river.  And worse of all, the damns on the West side and along the Brazos River were breached.  This breach had a similar effect as Katrina in New Orleans, but more homes were involved.  Over 40,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.

Over the 6-day ordeal, the people of Houston took on the task of saving the displace flooded victims.  Shelters were set up at churches and the GRB convention center.  Only 20 lives were lost in the flooding.  The lawyers of Texas came forward to help flood victims file insurance claims before the eve of the change in the Texas flood law.   GLSA members of Legal Shield lead the charge with fielding members calls and filing claims.  Others assisted in working at shelters.

The ark finally landed on Mt Arafat on Tuesday August 29.  The day finished with a beautiful sunset.  My community is in full recovery.  The courts system is closed for now. The legal community is on survival mode and will resume later in the month.  The Municipal courthouse took on 8 feet of water in the basement.  The county courts took on more.  The Juvenile courthouse roof failed and there was flooding of all 9 floors.  The surrounding counties had similar devastation.   One of the refineries suffered and was closed.  This closure created a statewide gas shortage all the way to Dallas. But our Mayor and County judge have taken the leadership and are putting our city back together.

I dodged a bullet myself.  The water came up to my front door and receded.  I didn’t lose any cars.  But my sister was flooded with 14 feet of water in her house.  It’s hard to imagine your neighborhood turning into an ocean and river with contaminated nasty rain water in your home.  The costs of cleanup alone are estimated to be 25 million.  The costs of rebuilding will be in the Billions.  But Houston will return.  Thank you for all your donations and prayers.  We are alive and coming back.

Pat Monks