by Laurie Jimenez, Region Director
It's hard to believe it started 10 days ago. It seems like a lifetime, and yet it seems like yesterday. The days have all run together for so many of us. Once the forecasted landfall of Corpus Christi was announced, South Central Region NAWIC members connected in anticipation of needs. But no one expected the results after landfall.
This is in part a personal journal, but meant to thank everyone who helped in the aftermath and to give thanks for everyone that was helped.
Day 1 and 2 - Friday and Saturday nights, August 25 and 26
Overnight, using Facebook messenger, I kept in touch with several ladies from Corpus Christi as Harvey made landfall. Meanwhile, in Houston, major rain bands from the dirty side of Harvey dumped up to five inches of rain per HOUR, along with several tornados. Between running to the pantry when Tornado alerts sounded, and mopping up the rising water penetration in my home, I watched for updates from NAWIC Corpus Christi.
I had no idea when I posted photos from my condo complex, just what was to come for the rest of Houston and South Texas. The messages that I received by the next morning from Corpus gave the impression of no major losses. The biggest inconvenience was lack of electricity for four days. We just had no idea about the outlying areas just north of Corpus Christi. Or even here in Houston!
I spent Friday and Saturday nights keeping the water at bay by using what seemed to be an endless cycle of towels, knowing that I was going to have to repair the wallboard. And was relieved as messages came in that Corpus only had wind damage in parts, but no electricity. Thankfully, the electricity was restored by the fourth day.
Day 2 and Day 3, August 26 and 27 - Reports from NAWIC members in Corpus Christi and here in Houston started to come in on Saturday and Sunday mornings. For the Corpus members, the reports were downed fences and limbs, with little to no structural damage. But no electricity. The electricity came on within a couple of days, the last report of returned power was on Day 4, Monday.
One Houston member reported that while she was in Austin for a new job, her neighbors were reporting that the neighborhood was flooded. She had no idea what to expect. After contacting all members in the Houston area to confirm other needs, the Houston leadership team reported that another member under mandatory evacuation was staying in a local hotel, with no prospect as to when she could return home.
The images below show just how destructive the floodwaters were for those whose homes were lost. In a lot of areas in and around the Houston area, rising waters had never been an issue for anyone in the past.
Day 4, 5 and 6, August 28 to August 30. While Houston neighborhoods were either evacuated or being assessed for damages, Harvey moved down the coast and hit the Port Arthur area. South Central Region once had a chapter in this area, but it did not survive the ravages of Hurricane Rita in 2005. A couple of members have stayed connected with other members in our Region. With help coming from all parts of the nation, connections were made to see what help could be offered in this community as well.
Meanwhile down along the Coastal Bend of Texas, near Corpus Christi, the little communities of Rockport and Aransas Pass, which took the eye of the storm were reeling from the damages and TOTAL devastation. Corpus members traveled northward and San Antonio members traveled south to help volunteer with cleanup and supply distributions.
Even though we are now 10 days after the storm first made landfall, all of South Texas is a long way from full recovery. We know that more help will be coming in the days and months to come, but we want to thank all of those who've helped already. This post is a simple way to give thanks from those who have received so much from our NAWIC sisters in our Region and across the Nation.
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