Several members of Lions Club International visited Kingwood Monday, Sept. 11, to assess damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. Bob Corlew, immediate past international president, flew in from Chicago and immediately traveled to Kingwood.
Corlew was accompanied by several Lions from District 2-S2 that serves seven Texas counties. Joining Corlew were Chuck Martin, Karl Johnson, Mark Roth and Betty Ezell. In addition, the Lions group brought their own camera crew to record the damage. The visit was organized by local Lions member Tony Austin, 2-S2 second vice district governor and director of Town Center Park in Kingwood.
The Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) has already provided an emergency catastrophe grant of $100,000 to allow local area Lions to provide life-saving supplies of food, water and other necessities. LCIF plans to apply for additional grants in excess of the $100,000.
They visited The Barrington, a village in Kingwood, which was hit hard by the storm. The group was amazed at the debris piles in the subdivision. Next, the group visited Kingwood High School, and could not believe the damage caused to the building. They asked many questions about where the students would attend school and how the teachers and staff were faring. Adrianne Holmes, from Humble ISD’s Office of Community Development, led the tour. She informed the group that while much was destroyed, there were some things that were saved, like some football helmets and athletic uniforms. Orchestra instruments, including the prized orchestra harp, were all destroyed.
The group visited the office of local eye doctor Mark Anderson, who is a Lions member. Anderson walked the Lions group through his gutted office at Family Vision Center on Main Street in Kingwood. Anderson said he was surprised by the amount of flooding that occurred because in 1994’s flood, the water just came up to the street curb. The weekend of Aug. 26, Anderson had moved equipment up off the floor, but by Monday, he had become trapped at his home in Atascocita and could not get across the flooded bridge to his office. Anderson had to completely gut his Kingwood office, and lost several pieces of very expensive eye equipment as well as several pieces of antique furniture. He is hoping that one Civil War-era piece can be restored.
Anderson gave the Lions a tour of his office which was down to the bare studs. The Lions asked him how many records he lost, but Anderson said he was paperless and his computer records were in the upstairs office and not damaged. Anderson continues to operate his office from the upstairs perch, and is seeing patients on an emergency basis. He was positive and upbeat about his construction progress, and thankful that his home and Baytown office did not flood.
“Houston will definitely bounce back. A year from now, everything will look the same,” Anderson said.
LCIF emergency and major catastrophe grants enable local Lions to respond to disasters and make an immediate impact in the hardest hit areas around the world. Corlew said, “Lions is glad to be able to help Kingwood in this disaster. We wish we could do more.”
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