I’m not sure what to write about Houston, except that I’m really in shock. I really can’t remember when there’s been a natural disaster in a place I knew, where I had friends and family. What’s happening to Houston is really mind-boggling. The graphic on the front of the New York Times sums it up well – unbelievable rainfall right dead center over Houston. So many natural disasters, even New Orleans, seem avoidable or preventable or fixable in some way. All I can think in terms of Houston is mandating that all future homes be built at least 3 feet above the ground.
The worst affected person I know is Jonathan’s sister. She and her family have evacuated – been rescued by boat – and are staying in a hotel with their pets, as of today. Prior to that, they were staying with a neighbor, as their single-story house in central Houston is under several feet of water. Their neighbor’s house is built three feet up and has multiple stories. Right now, Leslie doesn’t think they will ever return. Perhaps they will move into an apartment. While this will be financially devastating for them, he is a well-employed lawyer, and they will likely figure it out without having to resort to FEMA trailers like some others may need to do.
The worst story I heard was Sarah and Jose sheltering in closets with their family during a night of repeated tornado warnings. I’m so glad they were only warnings, but wow, that sounded truly awful.
It’s odd being here in sunny Seattle, completely unaffected, living life as normal. One day ‘the big one” (earthquake) may hit us, and the rest of the country will look through their internet windows in horror while continuing with their lives. Hopefully not any time soon. I was struck at one point that it was lucky it was my SIL Leslie and not my SIL Elizabeth going through this as E is expecting a baby any day now. (She lives in Virginia.) But of course, there must be hundreds of mothers on baby watch and hundreds more with tiny babies in Houston.