By BLAKE STOWERS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
HOUSTON, Texas — Former Bluefield resident Patricia Gardner said her home near Houston, Texas has already received 30 or more inches of rain from Hurricane Harvey.
Gardner said the flooding is “beyond imaginable” from the hurricane. “All of the roads to get my family out of the city are under water,” Gardner said. “Lucky for my family our house sits up high but my neighbors were not so lucky. I am located about 2 miles from downtown Houston.”
Gardner said the hurricane was at tropical storm strength as of Monday afternoon.
“There is nothing like being woke up with helicopters flying above with rescued people in them,” Gardner said. “Watching them all day and feeling completely helpless but thankful you’re not in that situation. My home, thank god, only has some minor damages. Some wood missing from the shutters. Thankfully, due to it being on a small slope on the street. Having multiple tornadoes within minutes and having to explain to your children that it’s OK and that this is just for precaution. But hearing them and knowing they are close, but thankful they missed our neighborhood. Then realizing that others were not so lucky and sadness sets in. I am so thankful that I am blessed and safe from the horrific event that has unfolded.”
Gardner said officials held a conference telling residents to stay put. “We rode the storm out because our mayor had a conference telling us to stay put,” Gardner said. “Officials said there was no evacuation for us, and the safest place was our homes. It wasn’t a hard decision for us because we have total faith in our mayor and the city officials’ recommendations. We are located 30 miles from Galveston but only a few miles from Port of Houston. Which if you have seen a map of this area it is directly linked to the Gulf of Mexico.”
Gardner said the situation was devastating. “I have seen homes, cars, and people devastated because they have lost everything,” Gardner said. “I personally had a friend needing rescued but no one was answering her call for help because the phones were overwhelmed. Thank God for Facebook because that’s how we were able to get her rescued.”
Gardner said local residents came together to help get her friend safety.
“We all came together and didn’t stop until we had confirmation she was safe,” Gardner said. “Another friend of mine texted me that his house is flooded and he is on the second story but how thankful he is because his neighbors have it far worse. The really sad part is that people need help but because of so many people needing it, the wait is really long.
“Some retailers are taking advantage of the situation and raising prices on necessities. For example, a half gallon of juice was $8 today. So, for some of the places open they are taking advantage of the situation and people.”
Gardner said she went to bed Friday night hoping for the best. “On Friday night, Houston had not seen much rain, so I went to bed hoping for the best,” Gardner said. “However, I woke up to my street looking like a river. There was no way out! But I was thankful that it didn’t get our house. I thought OK the rain will stop soon as the recovery process will start. It’s Monday and the rain isn’t stopping.”
Gardner said the storm was stalling and still producing rain as of Monday afternoon. “The rain has not stopped and it looks like it won’t until Wednesday or Thursday,” Gardner said. “Where I live the news estimated 30-plus inches. The are saying on average another 10- to 15-plus inches before it stops. The bayous and streams are over flowing. The underpasses are completely covered. They are now having to release reservoirs slowly to help with all the flooding. Which is causing those neighborhoods to be evacuated and flood.”
Garder said Houstonians are really coming together and helping each other during the catastrophe. “No race, sex, religion, political stance stopped us,” Gardner said. “We are a city united! We will continue to rise up! We will not let this defeat us. We are one.”
Contact Blake Stowers at [email protected]
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