It is funny what we beat ourselves up over during a crisis. As the day went on and dad was updating the family about how the water levels were rising, I beat myself up about how my parents were in the States thanks to me. Or that I was not in Texas helping, or that I hadn't earlier insisted my father upgrade his phone so he would have a longer battery life so that his last text to me that night was not "I cannot go into the master bath without getting wet so this is my last message" (insert meltdown Jesselyn here).
For those who do not know, in a flood, the water does not just come up from the ground, the front door, and the backyard. It trickles in from the corners of your house, the walls start pouring water as the water rise up from beneath your feet. You are literally drowning in your own home. While this was happening, I called the Coast Guard and Sheriff County Emergency Office for my parents - their phone signal at this point was shot. It took me 5 tries to get through to someone at the Coast Guard. 27 calls to get through to the Sheriff's office. My parents were put on a list to be rescued. I didn't know but being put on a list meant, they were one of many hundreds to be rescued. It would be hours before anyone made it there. Dad finally got through to 911 and some nice folks in a boat who were in the neighbourhood picked them up. Mom and Dad were dropped off at the Chevron gas station - it was high ground and at that point the best the rescuers could do. Two hours later, they were picked up by a good Samaritan in a van and dropped off at a family friend's house. God bless the helpers.
My parents moved to the States from Malaysia in October of 2016 after retiring. After staying with me in my tiny 700 square foot apartment in a relatively mild (so I thought) Minnesota fall, they decided they would rather get back to the Texas warmth. They bought their house in Katy Texas in March of 2017 and moved in April (for those counting, that is 4 months ago) and through patience and time, furnished it with the help of Goodwill Senior Discount Wednesdays and Saturday Sticker Discount days. My mother was particularly excited about Facebook Marketplace.
August 28th, my parents have been displaced from their home.
As of today September 4th, my parents are still not home. You see, they were told they don't live in a flood plain - their home is near the Barker Reservoir. Any rain would fall into the reservoir, and carried away. However, the county decided to do controlled releases of the reservoir, which directly flooded their home. They did not get flood insurance on every expert's recommendation. The Army Corp of Engineers are supposed to continuely release water from the Reservoir for the next 9 days, which is flooding their area... and keeping it flooded. Their house is still in the mandatory evacuation area.
They are keeping themselves busy volunteering at church while they wait to see what has become of their house. They feel if they cannot fix their own home, they can at least help others.
I hope this money will help my parents do some of the following things:
- Buy supplies for demolition (Cory and I have watched YouTube video and are of course convinced we are pros, we just need to, you know, do it)
- Pay for help for reconstruction (the YouTube videos about rebuilding dry wall seem a little more than we can manage)
- Chances are, their oven, washer and dryer, general electronics are shot, it would be great to be able to replace those
Thank you for all that our friends and family have done so far. People I would not consider friends have asked about my parents, people who live across the globe check in on them. We are blessed beyond measure so I do not want you to feel obligated to give monetarily. People have been asking for other ways they can help and hence this account. We are comforted by your empathy and prayers and if you feel called to donate somewhere else please do so.
- Kristine West
- Sarah Evans
- Charlie Stulb
- Ernesto Alegria
Organizer and beneficiary
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