Here is their story:
In the early morning of Sunday August 27th 2017, the waters started to rise and eventually made its way inside our home. Hurricane Harvey had hit and devastated Coastal Texas already 2 days prior, but due to the slow-moving storm, rain continued to pour onto Houston and did not stop. On Friday, we began moving valuables and photographs up to higher parts of our house—on top of the dining table, kitchen counters, bookshelves and refrigerator—just in case any water got in, not ever expecting the extent as to how much water we would actually get. Andrew thought it’d be best for me and our two dogs to go to Sugar Land to stay at my parents for the weekend, which ended up being pretty good premonition on his part, as our house started to flood in the early hours of Sunday morning.
At 4:00 AM, rising water began entering our home and Andrew did all he could to try to save our belongings. By 5:00 AM, the water rose to the level of the electrical outlets. At that point for safety reasons, Andrew decided to evacuate the house. He witnessed the water continue to rise from the neighbor’s second story, where he sought refuge. Meanwhile, I was in Sugar Land so worried for Andrew’s safety and also for our home—it was definitely a sleepless night.
The rain continued to pour nonstop on Houston. Sunday morning, I started collaborating with Andrew’s dad, who has a large truck, how we could get Andrew to Sugar Land. At this time many of the major roadways were covered with water and unpassable. With the uncertainty of how long the flooding would last, or if it would worsen, Andrew walked 1.3 miles in chest-deep water where his Dad was able to rescue him with his pickup truck. The National Guard was also in our area at this time rescuing people from their homes. Andrew finally was able to make his way to Sugar Land and I was so relieved and thankful he was okay! Rain still continued to pour down on our poor city, and we all prayed for it to stop to give the water a chance to go down.
That night, my parents received notification that their home was also under mandatory evacuation as the Brazos River, which runs near their home, continued to rise as the water from the city began to drain. They were predicting the level to rise to 59 feet at which time the levees would breach and flood the entire area. We moved important things up to the second story and evacuated to Andrew’s Dad’s house, who was only under voluntary evacuation at the time. Thankfully, the river levels never got that high (only got to 55 feet), and my parents’ home did not flood.
On Tuesday, Andrew and I were finally able to return to our home to assess the damage; water levels on the roads finally went down enough we were able to safely pass. We opened the front door and were devastated to find that we received over 3 feet of water throughout our entire home. Sofas, televisions, beds—everything in the house got water. The water level was so high that it caused the refrigerator and washing machine to float and flip over; everything valuable we had put on top of the refrigerator was damaged. Water got so high that even our kitchen drawers had water in them! With the help of wonderful friends and family, we spent the next week cleaning and moving furniture out to the curb.
The aftermath of Harvey was devastating, but it also brought out the best of Houston. Strangers helping strangers, donations and volunteers were so abundant and it was (still is) so heartwarming. While we know we lost a lot, we are so thankful we are safe; everything we lost was material. So many have come forward with such love, kindness and generosity.
"Helping one person might not change the whole world, but it could change the world for one person." -Anonymous
Angela & Andrew
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