By now, you might have heard about the intense flooding we've been experiencing in Houston this week. First of all, we're fine -- our house is dry, and while there was some flooding within 1/2-mile from our house, save for Alex's school being closed for a couple of days and Marcus' work being closed on Monday, we've remained largely unaffected.
Friends of ours, not so much. One friend of mine appears to have lost everything: as water poured into her home, she and her family evacuated to a neighbour with a two-storey home, and they were eventually rescued by firefighters. (She recorded everything on Facebook, as all of her friends watched in horror.) Another friend of Marcus' posted video of himself kayaking the streets of his neighbourhood, skirting the roofs of completely submerged cars, and rescuing people who were trapped in their homes (He also later posted a photograph of his kayak floating in the water in his living room). Houston has officially been declared a disaster area, and as I type this, more thunderstorms are on their way today. The weather report says we'll finally get a break tomorrow.
I'm writing this primarily to check in and let everyone know that we're fine, but also to urge people to check in with friends who you know live in the area. I know they'd appreciate it. Ask if you can help, of course (if you're in town, I'm sure doing a few loads of salvaged filthy-water-soaked laundry would be greatly appreciated), but just knowing that you're thinking of your friends will do them worlds of good. As I've been watching folks stare helplessly at their flooded homes online and on the news, I can't imagine how isolating this must feel.
And for my Houston friends -- stay safe and dry. Don't take any unnecessary risks (like driving into standing water -- you never know how deep it is; or wading into floodwaters unless you have to -- you never know what's swimming around in it. This is Texas, after all). And if you need help, don't be afraid to ask for it.
Soundtrack: The rain, as performed by Missy Elliott