I live in Houston, Tx. The Houston, Tx that got a record 51″ of rain from Hurricane Harvey. My home is about 1.5 blocks from Cypress Creek and I flooded. 15″ of standing water was in the house for about 4 days.
I’ve had a very hard time coping with what happened in the wee hours of August 28th. Something woke me at 1:10 am and I could not for the life of me understand how our bedroom carpeting could possibly be reflecting the night-light of the master bathroom. Couldn’t understand it until I sat up and my feet plunged into 15″ of water.
The day before, my hubs and I decided to make Emergency Go Bags just in case we got seepage and needed to evacuate. Thank heavens we did some pre-planning because we jumped up, scooped up our Go Bags, grabbed our sweet fur baby Winston (the cat) and out the door we went! Straight into 15″ of water covering our entire yard, garage, driveway, etc. Hubs drives (or should I say drove) a Navigator. This big beast of an auto made its way down the flooded driveway only to encounter chest high water throughout our cul-de-sac. The Navigator promptly died a quick and sudden death.
I don’t know where you are with God but I am a Christian. I began praying the minute I realized our home was flooded. I prayed for safely as I stood in knee-high water and turned off the main electrical circuit breaker to our home. I prayed for safety as I waded through chest deep water to try to help my hubs who was trapped in his car. (When the car died he was unable to open his locked car door.) I prayed as I reached out and with ease opened the back passenger door. He climbed out through the front seats into the back, grabbed the cat carrier and waded through the water to higher ground. I prayed for a safe place to go as now we couldn’t return home and his car was toast.
Now for a bit of levity…before leaving the house I stripped off my pj’s and dressed in underwear and a workout top. I stuffed my workout pants into my Go Bag because I couldn’t put them on without getting the legs wet. So picture me half-dressed wading up the flooded cul-de-sac in my underwear with our Go Bags held as high as possible.
Our “up the street” neighbors (Angels in disguise) were in their driveway calling out to us to try to make it to their house. We could hear but not see them. Remember, I’m only half dressed and soaking wet… As I approached their house on higher ground I began holding our Go Bags at waist level to hide the fact that I was not properly attired. As I reached our neighbors I (as calmly as I could) said something like “I’m so sorry to come to your house like this but I only have on my underwear…” Our sweet neighbor immediately turned his back to me to allow me some privacy. What a gentleman!
We stayed with our sweet friends for 6 days! Our next door neighbors waded up the street a few minutes after we arrived so it was the 6 of us for days and days! We had a wonderful stay with our Angels! And we are positive we’re the only evacuees to actually GAIN WEIGHT during our ordeal. Chris is positively the best chef ever and Terry is a fabulous dessert master!!! They kept us well fed and rested!
ServPro was in our home for 9 days getting it “contractor ready”. We are hopeful that most of the major repairs will be completed by Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 23rd for all the non-Americans reading this post.)
Here’s the great room with the beautiful paneling stripped off:
Our driveway looking out to the street before the “big” flood waters hit:
So what happened to all my quilts? If you couldn’t tell from the pictures, we live in a 2 story home. Sunday, the day before the waters hit, I decided that as a precautionary task I would put all my quilts into large translucent trash bags and firmly secure the ends. I was worried that if we got a bit of seepage into our home that the quilts might absorb some unpleasant odors.
Why was I worried? Our home, built in 1985, has never flooded before. Not during Allison and not during the 2016 Tax Day Floods, but because that Sunday afternoon we had water within about 20′ of the house. Now if you’re squeamish, skip past the next few comments… The lowest manhole for the neighborhood sewage system is in our backyard. The pumping station lost power about 36 hours before the flood waters hit. Yes, that means the flood filled up our home with brown poop water. Yes, the stench was awful. How thankful I am that I was able to get so much into protective bags!
Here’s another icky pic: a few days after the flood waters receded from the house I was trying to save a buck by cleaning out the plastic nozzle of a half used can of Great Stuff. I clipped out the straight part of a wire hanger. Making a long story short I managed to run the wire straight through my middle finger and into the joint of my index finger. A quick trip to the doc found me leaving his office with a tetanus shot and a 10 day supply of antibiotics.
This is our backyard. The privacy fence in the far back right corner had a water debris line of just over 6′.
For some perspective, here’s what our beautiful backyard normally looks like:
And my hubs…. he sometimes works from home and had a beautiful first floor home office. He said to me right after the water receded: “I need to set up an office upstairs… can I use the desk in your sewing room?” My brain was screaming NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! but my mouth said something completely insane like: Sure honey, let me clear things for you…
Needless to say I’m suffering from “lack of creative time”. I had planned to try to get something on the longarm Thursday (tomorrow) until hubs mentioned he was planning to work from home the rest of the week.
Yes I’m going crazy, yes I am generally sleep deprived, yes I am suffering from lack of quilting but in all seriousness, we are alive, by the Grace of God we have flood insurance and we have a home that can be repaired.
Sadly I had to cancel three speaking/workshop engagements; 2 in Sept. and 1 in Oct. Hopefully these three awesome groups can find time to book again for maybe 2018! Thank you to each one as they were so very gracious and completely understood my predicament.
I have my days when things seem bleak but I also have found my sense of humor is slowly returning. If I come to mind, say a prayer for hubs and me. We hold fast to our God! He and He alone will provide!
Blessings to all and of course: Happy Quilting!