Welcome, everyone, to Out and About – here to catch you up on what’s happening in the Lake Houston area!
I hope you and your families are safe.
I know that for very many of our friends and neighbors, recovery and renovation have been, and will continue to be, a mountainous amount of work. But as the saying goes: “This, too, shall pass.” Despite the devastation, the heartbreak and the many moments of fear and uncertainty we all have gone through in the last two weeks, I have been witness to so very many acts of kindness, nobility and courage in our communities. Neighbors, friends, strangers and volunteers from far and wide came rushing in to help in whatever way they can. Two weeks and counting, and some of them are still here.
The face of our communities may be different for a little bit, and we’re all going to have to be patient and understanding. We’ll have to shop for groceries somewhere other than the new H-E-B and drink margaritas somewhere other than Chachi’s. The kids at Kingwood High School will have to get used to sharing space and making the trip to Summer Creek for a while. Resources all around are stretched thin and, although the area will start looking more as it did before Harvey did a number on us, we all have to remember that for a lot of others, they may not be even returning to their homes and businesses until the early part of next year.
Cynthia Calvert, owner of The Tribune, was a fount of local information throughout. She served as a one-woman, 24/7 newsroom for days, collating, receiving, confirming and disseminating information from so many fronts – the City of Houston, the Houston Police Department, the Houston Fire Department, FEMA, the governor’s office, TxDOT, Ted Poe’s office, Dan Huberty’s office, Humble ISD, the Red Cross, all the different news outlets, all the local information in real time from residents, all the charities, and all the shelters. She was truly the Energizer Bunny of news.
Despite being evacuated from their own homes, Jessica Beemer of City Councilman Dave Martin’s office and Casey Christman of Huberty’s office set up where they could to also share information as quickly as it came in. Martin’s home stayed dry despite floodwaters rising in his street, but Dan and Janet Huberty’s family had to evacuate to Tom Huberty’s home. Kim Brode of Congressman Poe’s office also evacuated to her mother’s home.
Lynn and Jack Fields helped their neighbors lift as much of their furniture as they could onto kitchen counters, folding tables and landings. They sheltered several of their neighbors as the floodwaters rose. Sadly, they were in place to watch the waters rise so high that furniture perched on kitchen counters simply floated off.
Gina Remmes immediately opened her doors to several flood victims and their pets in her home. She is now preparing to house friends who will be staying with her for the next few months as they rebuild their home.
Millie Garrison of Humble Area Assistance Ministries, trapped like so many of us in Kingwood, set up her office at home, coordinating volunteers, donations, shelter information, bedding for first responders and FEMA assistance, despite intermittent cell phone service and Internet.
Daniel, Carlos and I have been hosting volunteers from American Patriots III who have come from all over with trailers full of donations to HAAM, and have stayed to help with demo and cleanup for a few days. Thank you, Lynn and Jack Fields for taking in our overflow! Daniel’s father and brother-in-law also drove in from Charlotte, N.C., with another trailer of donations.
Sparky Nolan, despite having to be evacuated from his home by boat, worked overnight to find a safe, dry and central location for the HAAM donation distribution center. Thank you, Robert Erwin of Resale Resource Corporation, who answered Sparky’s call with tens of thousands of square feet of storage, offered use of their forklifts, and picked up the tab for his staff to stay and help.
Also a special shout out to the “Random Dudes with Bass Boats” – hundreds of who were out on our streets coming from all parts of Texas and Louisiana, rescuing perfect strangers from their homes. Hooray for the #RedneckRegatta! You guys were absolute Rock Stars!
As our communities proceed with cleanup and restoration, I urge you all again for patience and understanding. Kindness and grace will go a long way in rebuilding an even closer, better community for all of us.
Before you go …
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