COTE DE TEXAS: Houston: We Have Rain

Houston: We Have Rain


Hurricane Carla:  1961


Having grown up in Houston, I’ve lived through numerous hurricanes, starting with Carla in 1961.  Before Carla hit, my parents filled up our bathtub with water, which is what we always did back then, and then we “hunkered down” in the dark for a week.   Today, people no longer fill up bathtubs with water - not when you can stock up on gallons of bottled water from the grocery store. 


The bottled water aisle is stripped bare in preparation for Hurricane Harvey


Since Houston is just 50 miles away from the coast we usually miss the brunt of the eye of the storm where the winds will effortlessly pick up a car or a boat and toss it
  down the road like a piece of paper.   Our enemy is more the rain than the wind.  Flooding from any storm, not just hurricanes, is always our issue in Houston.



Houston Astrodome welcomes Katrina Evacuees.  Many of these evacuees never returned to New Orleans, choosing instead to stay here in Houston.


Growing  up, hurricanes meant missed school and there was always a bit of festivity associated with being under a hurricane watch.  It wasn’t until missing school was no longer a goal, that hurricanes became scary adult stuff.   After Katrina destroyed one of America’s most beautiful cities, we all woke up to how destructive a hurricane truly can be.  Houstonians watched an entire city disappear under a wall of water – could that happen here?



Millions of Houstonians at a standstill, trying to evacuate during Hurricane Rita

Hurricane Rita hit Houston just a few weeks after Katrina.  Houstonians were so afraid after having just seen what could happened to a city that didn’t evacuate, that a majority did just that.  It proved to be a huge mistake to evacuate, miles of cars stood at a standstill for hours and hours.    In the end, over a hundred people died on the road trying to escape a hurricane that turned out to be relatively harmless.  We wouldn’t make that mistake of evacuating again.

 

A few years later, Hurricane Ike hit Galveston hard, but Houston was lucky, yet again.  Ike’s winds were strong enough to wipe out electricity and Ben and I spent five hot days in the  dark,  without television or computers.   While it’s not fun to be without electrical power, at least we were safe and dry.

 

The Addicks Reservoir in Houston – notice how close they built houses to this dam!!!!!


In Houston, a tropical rainstorm can wreck as much havoc as a hurricane –  it all depends on how fast and long the rain falls.  Our flat city sits at just 50’ above sea level and a series of natural bayous collects the rain water and then sends it back out to the Gulf of Mexico.  At least that is how it’s supposed to work.  In the 1940s, the Army Corp of Engineers built two huge reservoirs to help the bayous in case they ever overflowed. The problem is these two dams gave builders and homeowners a false sense of security and thousands of houses were built where the water would flow in case of a flood.  The dams were built to hold back a 100 year flood.  Our issue, though, is that Hurricane Harvey caused a 1000 year flood.

 

Buffalo Bayou – Before Harvey.  Houston has developed this beautiful bayou to be used as parkland.


The same exact area – after Buffalo Bayou flooded during Harvey.  The bayous will keep rising until finally it overflows its banks, flooding the streets and everything else in its wake.  This is an amazing photo of the flood.


As usual with Harvey, it wasn’t the hurricane winds that hurt Houston, it was the rain.  After the eye came on land a few hundred miles away from Houston, the clouds moved over Houston and just stayed there, dumping over 50 inches of water in just a few days.  All that water has to go somewhere.  The engineers were scared the reservoir dams would burst so they started emptying them which caused even more flooding days after the Hurricane.  Over a week later, the engineers are still releasing the dam water – flooding will continue in these areas for at least 10 more days while the reservoirs are emptied.

Harvey came out of nowhere, developing so fast we were cavalier about it, convinced the meteorologists were wrong.  They weren’t.  They warned us that we would have unprecedented rain and that the hurricane would come here and wouldn’t leave.  It did. 


Here is what the storm looked like.


Here is how the storm would have looked if it was over Florida.  Huge.


Ben and I watched the news in horror.  Over 30,000 people were displaced.  At least forty people died.  The saddest story was a 3 year old who was found shivering, clinging to her dead mother.  Watching the elderly and the young try to escape the raging waters was gut wrenching.


This photo of elderly women trapped in the flood was one that caused the entire nation to take notice to how serious Harvey was. 


Here, the same group was shown after they were evacuated. 


We are used to certain areas of the city that always seem to flood:  Meyerland being the closest to us, always floods during bad storms.  But this storm was different.  During the rain, Ben and I kept checking our street looking at the water level.  There were a few days of extreme worry, but in the end, we were lucky, very very lucky.

Why?

For some reason our house is far enough away from any bayou or dam that it doesn’t flood.  But we hadn’t planned that.  Neither had my parents, or sister, or nephews.  Yet, we were all safe and dry.  Just lucky. 

In the end, you start to feel guilty about that.  Why us?   We had never made any great decision to move here, right here, where we would stay dry in a flood of biblical proportions.

Luck.


This is a four lane street with a large esplanade in the center.  Boats had to rescue people from their homes.


The people in this neighborhood all had to be rescued.



The freeway became a waterfall.


What you can’t see is how strong the current is in these waters.


Over a half a million cars were flooded during Harvey – new and used cars,  both.



An incredible photo of a flooded out neighborhood.  The boats look like tiny pieces of paper – and notice the truck flooded out.


Heroes

There have been so many heroes that have helped our city.  People who owned boats came from all over America to help rescue people stranded in their flooded houses.  Other people made sandwiches to hand out to hungry citizens.  The shelters were filled with clothes and toiletries donated by citizens from all over the world.  Without all these angels, the death rate would have been much higher.


Sorting clothes, towels and toiletries in a shelter.


The orchestra came and played for the evacuees.  Singers also entertained the families – even Harry Connick Jr. came!


Gallery Furniture

The owner of Gallery Furniture, “Mattress Mac” Jim McIngvale opened his stores and warehouses up to evacuees and first responders. 

Mac posted on his Facebook – “come on over!” – and people did.  He is an amazing man and I don’t think I’ve ever had more respect for anyone.  He sent out his huge furniture trucks to pick up evacuees.  He served food and even allowed pets to come along. 

Mac is a true hero.  No one asked him to do a thing – he just did it.


Other people became instant heroes.    Our mayor – Sylvester Turner was amazing.  He refused to call for a evacuation and faced criticism from national media and even our governor for that – but the Mayor was right.   You can’t evacuate millions of people in two days.  He continued to make tough decisions and stood by them.  He was strong and calming and proved to be the right man for the job.

 

Jeff Lindner, the Harris County Flood Control District meteorologist became a folk hero during the storm.


And then there was Jeff Lindner –  the meteorologist for the Harris County Flood Control District.  I told Ben he was going to be a “star” and I wasn’t alone who thought he was special.  Someone started a Go-Fund account to “Give Jeff Lindner a Vacation.”  It was worth almost $20,000 in just a few days.

Another hero was Michael Dell, from Houston, of Dell Computers, who donated over $34 million of his personal wealth to the victims. 

And our football star JJ Watts started a fund that reached over $20 million!!  Incredible!!

These are just a few heroes – there are so many heroes whose names we will never know.


These people, the heroes with boats were so awe inspiring.  They saved so many lives – they were true angels.


And what about the animals?

During Katrina, when the buses finally came to rescue the city, they would not allow anyone to bring their pets with them!  It was a heart wrenching to watch – all the animals had to be left alone and their owners were even more distraught having lost their homes and now their pets, especially after having saved them from the flood. 

Houston decided to let evacuees bring their pets with them and here, you can see two dogs chill-laxing at the shelter.  Adorable.

This was another time that our mayor Sylvester Turner was so right.  He could have said – “no pets allowed at the shelters” – but he did the right thing, AGAIN.


The sun comes out!!

Finally after days and days the sun came out and life started to pick up a bit.  We got our first mail delivery – on a Sunday!  

But, for most people – cleaning up after the flood was just starting.


 

The massive clean up starts. 


What now?

My old neighborhood, Meyerland, where my parents had built a house when I was in elementary school, was in the national news during Harvey.  Meyerland, the center of Houstonian Jewish life,  is located right off Braes Bayou and as the years went on, it would always flood during very bad storms.  But the flooding had escalated - Harvey marked the third time in three years where houses flooded in Meyerland.  The homes, many custom, were mostly built in the 60s and 70s – and their foundations are too low to survive a flood.  These houses need to be raised.

Those who can afford it are choosing to tear down their houses and new, elevated houses are built in their stead.  Others are choosing to elevate their existing house – raising it on piers to escape future floods.   But these people are the lucky ones.  Most can’t afford these options, nor can they afford to just walk away and take on the burden of two mortgages.


In Meyerland, this is one of the first homes that was elevated to escape future floods.  This house used have its foundation at ground level.  Now, it looks charming and safe. 


 

This Meyerland house is in the process of being raised on piers.  The owners didn’t want to be flooded again.  To see even more houses – before & after they were raised, go HERE.



This house in Meyerland was torn down and replaced with a new house on an elevated foundation.  It is now high enough that it won’t flood.  To the right,  the neighbor’s foundation is at ground level and it floods each time there is a bad rainstorm.


Even our temple, Beth Israel,  also located in Meyerland,  flooded and all the prayer books had to be moved up out of harm’s way.


Meyerland owners have been facing the floods for years, but other neighborhoods in Houston are new to flooding.  Thousands of houses that have never flooded before and now under water.  What will happen?   They will have to decide to either renovate their house or to elevate it to avoid future floods.

Right now – those people who flooded out are ripping out carpet and sheetrock in order to be able to move back home.


This owner was ingenious – to save all their furniture from the water, they used Legos to raise everything in their house!!    I hope the water didn’t get too high in the house.



And then there was this man.  Last year, in a bad flood, he used an Aqua Dam around his home and you can see it kept the flood water away.   Houston used Aqua Dams on our freeways, so they must really work as long as the water doesn’t get higher than the dam.  This is a great idea  - they aren’t cheap, but if you can stop the flood water from ruining your house, it’s worth it.  Aqua Dam HERE.

The future is worrisome.  Houston will have to get experts to make tough decisions about zoning and flood plains and how we can be safe during storms.

People are still in need of financial aid here.

If you would like to donate to help those less fortunate in Houston, I think the best place to donate is the Hurricane Harvey Red Cross Fund HERE where the funds go directly to Harvey victims.

And finally, I want to thank you all so much for your good wishes and prayers.  It meant so much to me to feel your love! 

And now, our prayers go out to Florida who is facing Hurricane Irma.




50 comments :

  1. ...God bless houston...and all those wonderful heroes...so thankful you and your family are safe...blessings...laney

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  2. Amazing post. I've been reading everything about Harvey and you still had photos I hadn't seen.
    While this was an extreme storm that flooded homes that had never been flooded before, homes that get flooded year after year should not be allowed to rebuild. Maybe not even if they're higher, because the water could be higher next time. It's sad to see parkland destroyed in a flood, but it's easier and cheaper to fix than houses and also helps protect houses from floods. Sadly, some people are just going to have to move. Better zoning would constrain developers from building where risk is high.
    We watched floodwaters approach our house earlier this year. It was terrifying. The thunder of the river shook our house despite all the windows closed. Luckily, flood prevention measures (a bunch of houses that were flooded in the last flood, 15 years ago, were ordered torn down--the town bought out the owners--and replaced with parks, plus water-retention basins were created) meant that despite more rain than in the last flood no houses got water in them. We want to install roof solar panels and batteries for electricity, not only to be environmentally sustainable but also to have some autonomy if the grid is cut off. Extreme weather is just going to get worse.

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  3. It was such a relief to see this new posting and it is so good to know that you and your family are safe and dry. And thank you for the insights given here.

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  4. So glad you guys were OK -I was so worried the whole time! If you remember years ago my friends that live down there that we had lunch with had to be rescued from flooding -so sad -but they are safe. Why did the city let people build so close to the reservoirs? Was it controversial at all? It's pretty astounding! The city is growing so quickly though where else do you go....I guess 'up' but you guys already have a lot of apartment buildings and such. This is tough! Good thing you have such great leadership in your mayor.

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  5. Thank you so much for this thoughtful post! As a fellow Houstonian it seems that Houston has a lot of work to do to prevent future flooding. The Dallas Morning News published an excellent article this week stating that the city was told years ago that the reservoirs were unsafe. Again, Houston has a lot of work to do and hopefully the TX Legislature will assist in solving this problem for Texans, instead of wasting their legislative sessions in bickering and bathroom laws. So many individuals and businesses were affected by this storm, but seeing the lines of volunteers who showed up to assist at the shelters was incredibly heart warming. And Mattress Mack is a treasure. Thank you!

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  6. I am so thankful that you and your family are safe and dry. I grew up in Houston, and still have family there, who are also thankfully, dry. But, the devastation the hurricane has caused is going to take years to recover from. My heart breaks for those whose lives are affected. My prayers are with Houston. I am bracing here in Florida for Irma.

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  7. As a native Houstonian, it is still so unfathomable. And I'm so glad the slipcovers are all safe! Let's hope Texas does something about it to prevent more loss of life.

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  8. Glad to hear you and yours are safe and dry. I, too, have been worried about you and it is a relief to know that you are safe. So much loss and devastation. I hope we learn some very important lessons about building safer cities as mentioned by Taste of France and AD. We can be smarter. Perhaps one of the biggest lessons we can relearn is that we are all in this together, from what we do to the environment and what we do to help each other. I echo AD's comment about the great leadership of Houston's mayor. That kind of leadership in government is sorely missing these days. Finally, for the girl who doesn't cook, I hope you and Ben and finding something to eat! Hugs to you and your pups.

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  9. Tears rolled down my face as I read this post and looked at the pictures. My heart is so broken for all the people whose lives have been forever changed by this natural disaster. Even though tornadoes are a very real threat for much of the year here in the Dallas/North Texas area, I will take THAT over the fear of hurricanes that you all deal with in your beautiful city. There are still people missing down there....friends close to me have a friend who works for the Omni hotel in Houston who was last heard from while in a basement elevator at work on the 27th of September...no more contact with her since then and all are fearing the worst. My prayers continue for all of you. I watched your blog closely as the storm unfolded and was so relieved to learn that you and Ben and Elisabeth and the pets were all ok. May God bless and keep all of you in Southeast Texas in the weeks and months a head....long long road to recovery.

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  10. Tears on this one Joni. Have many fond memories of evacuating Nassau Bay during childhood. So many fun/good times with it. Obviously, the child's view.

    Mom refused evacuation for Harvey. Her home remained dry, kept power, houses 1 block away flooded. Sister evacuated to Huntsville, her home in Katy remained dry/with power, 4 blocks away 100's of homes flooded.

    Information was hard for either to get. Good information. I spent most of Harvey online, gleaning info. Forwarding to them, some quite helpful.

    Mom's neighborhood has their own police/fire/ems. I phoned their police department Friday as things started, informed them about mom, address/phone etc. They asked if I wanted on their text/email/robo call lists. YES !!! They had facebook pages too. Receiving those robo calls, getting the texts, going to the facebook pages were a HUGE help.

    My sister's neighborhood, huge/gated, had no texts/robo calls, little facebook info. She relied on neighbor's that did not evacuate. I got the best info for Katy from CoveringKaty.com . Helpful articles with detailed facts and excellent links. In great thanks for their 'service' to community during Harvey.

    Mom's area still has no gasoline or food. Sister's area has spotty gas with long lines, food available.

    Mom's neighborhood still not recovered from Ike. Many homes destroyed, some of those empty lots remain. Many homes elevated after Ike, higher than those you show.

    Happy you were not flooded, and your family/pets safe.

    Wish the 'media' would stop with the disaster porn. People evacuating with their life belongings on a small raft deserve dignity, not a drone snapping pics of all their worldly goods, stricken faces. At a minimum, shield their faces sideways.....something. Please, give them dignity.

    Flooding near my sister will take till December to go down, experts say. Sewage, chemicals, mosquitoes, terrible.

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

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  11. Thanks for this, Joni. We've all been thinking about you and the Houston area. Glad you remained dry. So much heartache and devastation. And so many heroes as you said. Hoping recovery can go better and faster than expected.

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  12. Thanks for posting this Joni...it's been a horrendous last 12 days. I'm in Kingwood and there is devastation everywhere, even my own street where 70% of the houses flooded. We remained high and dry too, but only by 2 inches!!! We came close. The Conroe dam floods Kingwood every single time and it's getting old! Our representative is starting an investigation into the San Jacinto River Authority. Nevertheless, this community is hurting badly. Kingwood High school was flooded and they will have to spend the entire school year at another school :( We have a brand new shopping center with an HEB and many restaurants, only open since last October and it's completely destroyed. But we all have Hope and Faith and God is good! Thanks again for the post. Glad to hear you were spared as well.

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  13. Dear Joni, I was happy to know you were safe from following you on IG. You and Ben were in many thoughts and prayers. Love the new heroes you highlighted- such wonderful people. So many angels appeared out of nowhere. I am so thankful that you included the photo of the women sitting in water at the nursing home...that image has haunted me since I saw it on the national news that night and I can not replace it with them safe and dry. My love to you and Ben and Elisabeth and the city I once called home. xxojoan

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  14. Joni - -I am relieved to read your post and am so glad you and yours are safe. My son of 25 was in Houston with his boat doing night rescues because he had lights on his boat. He said everyone was so kind and generous; free gas to the rescuers, people offering their home for them to sleep and shower, all the food they could eat. He said before he even got to Houston he had two calls from people in Fort Worth offering to pay all his expenses. He was called out to rescue families from apartments at 3:00 in the morning. It was all worth it to me, as his mom, when he told me about the family of 5 that had a 4-week-old baby that was the cutest thing he had ever seen. There were times he had so many in the boat he was concerned about getting them out safely. He did not tell me about people shooting at the boats because they wanted help, but the boats were full, or that armed officers escorted him in to some areas until he got home. Our prayers go out to Houston and we will be back to help. Becky

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  15. Dear Joni, I didn't know how to get ahold of you, but was worried about you and your family. Glad you are all okay.
    It was great to see Americans helping each other too.

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  16. Miami is getting ready to take a direct hit with the eye wall from Irma.

    The devastation that is getting ready to take place in South Florida will make Harvey look like child's play....

    Irma is going to be catastrophic on a level not experienced by the US before.

    Prayers for Florida.

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  17. I was so relieved to be able to follow along and know that you and Ben were safe. xox

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  18. Joni,
    I am so happy that you wrote this post - as only you can write one. Thank you so much for enlightening all of us about the people involved in decision making and giving. My family in The Woodlands were lucky ones, too. I fear that there is a great deal of "survivor's guilt" among those of you who came out fairly unscathed. I truly hope that the lesson of loving ones fellow neighbor that Houstonians and their heroes showed in HUGE amounts will provide hope in this world of judgement and hate. I am glad you were safe. I will be making another donation right now. #TexasProud

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  19. I'm glad to see you write about this. The news covers the tragedy but not the why's. It's clearly a design problem. I posted an article about it on Facebook recently. The developers are to blame. Too much development without proper regulations to control water drainage affects Houston. It will continue to happen again and again unless something is done!

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  20. This made me cry, again. We live in Jersey Village, cradled by the Beltway and 290, and this is a very flood prone neighborhood. White Oak Bayou is only a few blocks away and over 200 houses flooded last summer/fall during the tax day floods. Amazingly we weren't hit directly by a couple of the rain bands and had no flooding during the most catastrophic flooding Houston has ever seen. Our community has a few houses raising the foundation, one house attempted to raise the house by 4-5 feet and it slipped off the temporary supports and the entire house had to be demolished. Flood insurance premiums are ridiculous for some of my neighbors. I feel very lucky as well, and my heart aches for all of Houston and the Harvey victims.

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  21. There are a number of areas in Houston, areas in New Orleans, and lots of places along the southern and eastern coasts where houses should never have been allowed to be built. If the word "bayou" is in the name that would be a clue.
    Sheila

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  22. So very glad you are safe. I've been thinking about you every day.

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  23. Glad that your family is safe. Like many other readers of your blog I was worried. Hopefully more homes in areas that are in areas that might flood will be built in an elevated fashion.

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  24. Thanks for an interesting and informative post. It's hard to think about decorating when people are left with nothing, isn't it.

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  25. You write in such a heartfelt and loving way about your home, your city. Thank you.

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  26. I'm in the northern suburbs and have never had issues with flooding until the Lake Conroe dam opened it's floodgates. My neighbors across the street had water in their homes because of it. These are brand new construction homes on a small lake we all thought was part of a recreational park. It turns out this lake is an overflow for a nearby creek that flows from Lake Conroe. I'm so happy I bought on the left side of the street and not the right. That's how close we were to being flooded despite not being on a flood plain. It's been heart wrenching having to help our neighbors salvage their belongings and our kids had their second first week of school start Tuesday. They are doing fine though and even said they had fun playing with all the neighbor kids. They have no idea how stressful it has been for all of us adults, thank goodness.

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  27. Dear Joni- I am a new reader of your blog...love it. I was looking for a new post from you just to know that you and your family is safe. Praying that the city of Houston and its citizens get through these trying times.

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  28. As a longtime reader of your blog, I was concerned about you and your family. When I saw you had posted this, I was so glad to know you were safe. Your posts are always wonderful and you obviously put a lot of time into them. Blessings on you, your family, and everyone in Houston...... I hope Florida isn't as bad with the new storm coming. Thanks, Joni.

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  29. I so love your blog and have been a long time reader. I thought of you often as this tragedy unfolded, and wondered about you and the state of your lovely (and inspiring) home. So glad to hear you are safe, and dry. Thank-you for this post, and the reminder of the amazing and heroic things which followed in Harvey's wake. Although I was raised in Nevada, I was born in Texas, and am so proud to claim it still.

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  30. Hi Joni-So happy you and your family are safe and dry.Our family was equally blessed to stay dry all while being surrounded by flooding in Winchester and Barker's Landing.My Mom lives in Barker's Landing,most of her neighborhood flooded, her lot is in the back and is higher than most.
    We live in San Antonio now, but Houston will always be our hometown.We lived in Houston almost our entire lives.My parents are 4th generation Houstonian's and have lived through it all.So proud of Houston and Texas on a whole!Setting a Great example for America!God Bless you!

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  31. This is the best written report on the hurricane that I have read.
    You put it into historical and personal context, and made it both heart-based and factual. Excellent journalism!
    Thank you.

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  32. I'm so happy to know you were unscathed - so was my family in Katy. I'm sure it will be years in the rebuilding of many Texans' lives as they once knew it....West Virginians who suffered the 1000 year flood in 2016 are still trying to regain their normalcy.
    Another hero's story I though really interesting that you might Google....Nick Sissa. I love his story. And I had never heard of the Cajun Navy until Harvey.

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  33. My heart is breaking for all the people and animals affected by this disaster. God bless that man who opened his furniture store to help people.

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  34. I just want to echo my thanks for taking the time to put this together. I was hoping you and your family were dry. I value the historical approach you take to your topics and here I learned a lot and it helped me understand the situation a little more. I do not know if the people of Houston and Texas will now be more open to (and willing to pay for) long-term, environmentally sound development but I am relieved to know there are actual ways that coastal cities can protect themselves through better planning. I have been reading and hearing about this on the radio and it gives me hope to know that the knowledge and experience is out there. The Dutch know a lot about how to live below sea level, for instance. I just hope we all can learn from this experience and do better in the future. It is overwhelming to think of how many people are suffering because of this storm and it would be tragic if we didn't do what we could to prevent this suffering in the future. Thanks again and be well.

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  35. thank you for this personal update joni. we've all been thinking about you and praying for your beautiful state. xo

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  36. Thank you, Joni, for the compassionate post. Our heartfelt prayers continue for all those affected. Hugs. xo

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  37. I appreciate you!!!!!

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  38. I'm in Bay Oaks in Clear Lake and we eeeked by with some buckling of our antique french white oak floors and some kitchen ceiling damage. My precious niece is in Meyerland. Her house had never flooded before. She waiting over 13 hours with a 6 month old and a special needs 2 year old for rescue by boat and then tank as the waters rose so fast (gasoline from garage cans filled their house with dangerous fumes) so they had to wait outside for rescue. So many of my family members all over Houston have had sheet rock, carpet and furniture removed. Cars ruined. In the end, I'm so proud of the perspective people have in being able to still count their blessings and are able to say "The chaos in my life is easy to manage compared to those who lost more - like people and pets." We watched mommas with babies wait over 36 hours for rescue-they were frightened...so who cares about antique french white oak hardwoods....right? We could have evacuated easily with our plane except hubby was on trauma call. If we had, we wouldn't have been able to help others and our house would have taken on much more water without our intervention. I've got the weather channel on now and I'm praying for all of our friends and family in Florida. Great post.

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    1. Amazing. Seriously...?

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    2. Nice to know that you own a plane and that your husband is a doctor.
      Not really important to anyone but yourself however.

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  39. Thank you Joni, just thank you! I live in West Houston and you had a picture of one of the homes in my neighborhood, Nottingham Forest. I just have to mention that although the water has gone done, that home doesn't look much different today, Friday, 9/8/17!! Amazing pix BTW! As you can see, homes never should been built so close to dam and that land should've been used to expand the dam and the flood plain. Not sure what the answers to prevent future flooding and the issue is too complex to blame any one person. It's years of collusion between developers and government officials. It's years of bad zoning or total lack thereof, etc, etc. What I do know is that my neighborhood came together as did people around Houston. The love is stronger than the storm!

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  40. I do believe you miss a critical point regarding your mayor as indicated by the picture of the elderly sitting in water in a nursing facility. Perhaps an attempted evacuation of the city was not appropriate, but surely the ill and the helpless should have been given priority. In this regard, your mayor is no different than Ray Nagin in New Orleans. You gave credit where it was due to the many volunteers who have worked tirelessly to get through this event. Obviously missing and of no surprise, you failed to mention the President and his FEMA team. You have a great Governor unlike that bimbo in Louisiana who presided over Katrina.

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    1. All good points.
      Ray Nagin is still in federal prison, isn't he?
      Sheila

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    2. Yes, Ray Nagin is in prison for bribery and fraud while Mayor of New Orleans. Unfortunately, he was never tried except in the court of public opinion for leaving all of those school buses parked when they could have been used for hospital and nursing facility evacuations. The mayor of Houston should hang his head in shame over the picture of those women sitting in waist deep water and just remember, this is only one such picture. I imagine there were many situations like this. I will take it one step further here as to the silence on President Trump who has given one million dollars of his own money to relief efforts. If this had happened on Obama's watch, you can bet we would see a gushing out pouring of praise.

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    3. This is a blog about decor. However, the blogger has made an exception as to the subject because of the disaster in Houston. Why should anyone comment on Trump? And if we did, we cannot take the comment out of context. Obama has not personally made millions from the Secret Service renting a property he owns. Trump has. One million dollar is a drop in the bucket when we consider the amount of money he is PERSONALLY making out of tax payers money -- millions -- when he flies almost weekly to stay in his own properties. The Secret Service has to pay to stay in properties owned by the Trump organization. Since you brought the subject up, I will say that I am not impressed with the meager donation from a man who bragged ad nauseum to be worth upwards of 10 BILLIONS! Had you not made a comment about Trump, I would have remained quiet for there is nothing to gain from criticizing anyone when the criticism is not constructive. I would like to add that it is poor form to make a disparaging comment about the Mayor of Houston considering that he is in the midst of a national disaster. I do not know him, and do not have a cat in the fight. I am not knowledgeable about disaster response. However, I do know enough to know that it is much too complicated for me to pass judgement on government officials who have to deal with this dire situation. Of course, much later, officials will evaluate responses and learn from it. Leticia Crawford

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    4. Since you want to get into unverifiable facts, Leticia, why don't you link an official government document showing that the Secret Service rents any of the Trump properties. As to one million dollars being a drop in the bucket to Trump's wealth, he was under no obligation to contribute anything personally, nor obligated to forfeit his salary as President which he has also done despite your bellyaching without facts. Obama would still be on the golf course as the flood waters rose to the level of Michelle's thunder thighs and would have somehow managed to blame the storm on racism. I think the picture of the elderly sitting in waist deep water speaks for itself whether you believe it's good form or not. It's easy for Joni to speak here because she has suffered nothing. Perhaps you should do a bit more research before you knee jerk a response. The next time you go to the book store to purchase one of Obama's fairy tales written by a ghostwriter, don't let those millions he's making get in the way of your judgment. Now that would be another disaster.

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    5. I do not need to verify what I know. Since you not aware of it, you can use your own time toe verify it: The store ran many times in several news media, but THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, a publication that leans Republican and it is owned by Robert Murdoch, a friend and supporter of Donald Trump, published an exclusive story, a month or so ago, revealing that the government has been and is still paying more than $100,000 a month to use a roughly 3,500-square-foot space in Trump Tower as an outpost of the White House Military Office. Federal officials with the General Services Administration signed an 18-month lease with Trump Tower effective April 13, 2017. All in all, the agreement will cost $2.39 million. On August 3, 2017 the Secret Service vacated the Trump Tower because of a lease dispute. I saw that in your reply you have made some crass comment about the former first lady. It is unfortunate that you feel that because you lack the fortitude to sign your name to your postings you are free to display a complete lack of class. Furthermore, your post is one more proof that when an individual lacks argument he or she resorts to irrelevant ad hominem attacks. I will not be wasting my time any longer engaging in a dialogue with someone who is unable to do so without resorting to fallacies and crude remarks under the cover of anonymity. I am not an ideologue and would like to see the president do well because it is good for the country. But I am a fiscal conservative and Trump just betrayed his fellow Republicans by striking a deal with the Democrats and just raised the country's debt ceiling. This just delays a government shut down for a very short while. Just before the next cycle of elections the budget will have to be fixed or another government shut down will be inevitable. Just watch what the Democrats will do. Trump was not thinking. Why am I not surprised. Be well.

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    6. Since you are so concerned about the debt ceiling, I hope you understand that it's only for a three month period and is a deal Trump made with Democrats only because of the lack of leadership among Republicans in the House and Senate. This was the only way he could get the $15.5 million he requested for "Houston". If he had allowed congress to sit on their hands and do nothing (which they would have and which many Republicans did during Hurricane Sandy relief), you would have excoriated him for that. There is no pleasing people like you. You contend Trump betrayed Republicans - WHAT A JOKE! Since when has our Republican congress supported him. They have done absolutely nothing for the past 8 months to advance his agenda. I can read people like you like a book. You voted for the unindicted felon, she lost, now for the sake of your vacuous argument you want to pretend to defend Republicans by suggesting Trump's betrayal. THAT IS REALLY RICH!

      Perhaps when your busy schedule frees up, you should do a bit of reading on the amount of money spent on the Obama Family Vacations which included extended members like Wookie's mother, brother, sister in law, etc. It amounts to more than One Hundred Million Dollars over 8 years. You can do the math. You can see they were living large on the taxpayers' dime. If you think Rupert (not Robert since you know so much) Murdoch ever supported Donald Trump you sadly were in a dark and soundproof room during the election. Murdoch put his support early on behind Jeb Bush who is about as inspiring as a can of cold beans. My suggestion that you support your accusations with facts becomes none other than something from the mainstream media no less. This is why I suggested you get your information from the General Accounting Office of the United States Government. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL has been no friend of Trump. I would love to know if you are receiving a different subscription to that news source than I am receiving. So my remarks about the "lovely" Moochelle offends you - tough. Her record speaks for itself. Since you are such a fan of print media, try looking at her most recent photos from Spain - what an absolute hot mess. As to my name, what good would that do you. Do you plan to come for a tea summit? Most of the people who comment here use "anonymous", but I shouldn't because you don't like my opinions - typical Democrat. Now go out to your favorite book store, load up on WHAT HAPPENED, give them as Christmas presents to family and friends. I'm sure Hillary will be more than happy to autograph them for a token of your appreciation made payable to The Clinton Foundation, or another shakedown entity of her choice. Happy reading!

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  41. Very informative and certainly an eye-opener with lessons to be learned. Personally, as a Canadian I find it heart breaking to see so many of our North America Continent countries currently being ravaged by 'the wrath of Mother Nature' and the catastrophic conditions she is causing in her wake. (First by Harvey, Irma and now possibly Jose and Katia not to mention a devastating earthquake in Mexico as well.) That said; with wishes that your family Joni will remain unscathed and those who are fortunate will consider a donation to an 'assistance relief fund' of their choice as there are so many in dire need. With sincerest sympathy to 'all' those who have been affected. -Brenda-

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  42. It's good to know that you and your family are okay, and that Americans are helping each other! Hope remains afterall.

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