On Thursday, August 25, Brock and Katie had Meet the Teacher at school, preparing to meet their students and parents expecting to start school the following Monday. At noon when the event was over, their principal had a meeting to inform all teachers of the mandatory evacuation of the city and potential postponement of the first day of school. It was 12:00 and residents were to be evacuated by 12:30 to avoid traffic and the impending rain. Not knowing what exactly to expect, Brock and Katie took Teagan home and began the painful process of deciding what to take with them. Katie had heard stories of people being stuck in their cars for hours during evacuations so they focused on bringing food, water, and things to keep Teagan occupied for the unknown amount of time ahead of them. The clothes they packed were minimal because they expected to be gone a few days. Valuables and emotional items were packed quickly into the car as they set off for Katie's grandparents' house in Lufkin, Texas. (5 hours away)
The next 48 hours were emotional, surreal, and horrifying as we all watched Hurricane Harvey move from a Category 3 to a Category 4 right before it struck land. If you ask where Port Lavaca is, it is one of the smaller towns on the coast right in between Houston and Corpus Christi where the initial impact hit. Images and videos of destruction began to filter in through Facebook, the weather channel, and from their friends who stayed behind. The following days, we saw more death and destruction as rain absolutely pounded cities like Houston, Beaumont, and many others.
Brock and Katie prayed the rain would cease, not only to spare other families from floods, but also because they had learned their apartment had a gaping hole in the siding and insulation and the rain was soaking the sheetrock. After the rain began to lessen, they had friends go and check on their things and were relieved to discover the wall had withstood the wind and rain.
6 days later, the mandatory evacuation was lifted from Port Lavaca and they were able to return to access the damages for themselves despite the lack of power to their apartment. When they opened the door they were not prepared of the sight of destruction of mold, mildew and water damage throughout their home. Let alone for the arduous task of cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer that hadn't had power in 10 days. They realized at that point that their home and contents were unsalvageable. While the wall was still standing the rain had gotten all of the sheetrock wet and had leaked in through several windows. This moisture, spurned by 90+ degree days, had produced rampant and consuming mold. The walls, their furniture, many of Teagan's belongings including toys and her highchair, and their floors were covered in black mold.
We are asking for financial support for these 3, as they begin acquire expenses as they begin to rebuild their lives. They are unable to stay in a city less than 2 hours away from Port Lavaca due to flooding, road closures, and destruction of many cities nearby.
While there are families who will be impacted differently and possibly more severely than Brock, Katie, and Teagan, many have asked how they can help. They are unable to receive mail or packages while they wait to be moved from their damaged apartment so we ask that you donate any funds that you are able to help get them back on their feet.
Thank you for your support Brock, Katie, and Teagan will be forever grateful for each one of you.
❤️ -Courtney , and the families of both Brock and Katie.
- Christine Sermak
- Tania French
- Twila Clark
- Jeff Lemay
Organizer and beneficiary
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