By Mark Chapman (’14)
We have been receiving countless calls, messages and emails from the Loras community and thought it would be appropriate to send a brief note to you regarding the Hurricane Harvey crisis in Houston.
Katie Huguelet (’16) and I had been with a group of friends in the Houston Heights area. The Houston Heights area is located inside the 610 loop, in the northwestern corner. The flooding in our area was at its highest last Sunday morning, we all awoke to 3 feet of water a block away. Since that time, the flooding has subsided, but the roads were still inaccessible and inoperable. Katie resides in the Heights, I live in the Meyerland and Brays Oaks area of Houston. Meyerland has a notorious reputation for serious flooding, as it runs alongside one of the major bayous, the Brays Bayou.
This great city is unfortunately a flooding hub for a myriad of reasons: 1) the infrastructure of the city is greatly outdated. 2) Houston expanded at a rate the city could not keep up with in terms of highway systems, drainage pathways and urban development. 3) It’s low elevation and proximity to the Gulf make it susceptible to tropical storms. 4) The elevation on the outskirts of Houston is slightly higher than internally, giving the 4th-largest city in America a bowl-shaped complex.
We are anticipated another 15 inches of rain, and prayed the storm would subside. The levee in Brazoria County (south of Houston) breached, forcing thousands of residents out of their homes and with no other option but to evacuate. Katie, I and our friends have been safe. We have enough food and water to last through the weekend, at which point we pray the stores will be open and accessible. Despite the last sentence, we are all extremely lucky. The Houston Heights area had been one of the few neighborhoods inside of 610 that did not lose power.
The spirit of Houston was resilient during the storm. We saw civilians voluntarily drive their boats into flooded neighborhoods to pull residents out from their homes. Times like these have the profound ability to show the good in humanity. We witnessed displays of courage, humility and love that puts this situation into perspective.
Below are a few of the photographs taken by our group. Most of them are from the Houston Heights area. We ask for any and all prayers for continued safety and most importantly, for those displaced and the loss of lives by Hurricane Harvey. We ask for any and all prayers for continued safety and most importantly, for those displaced and the loss of lives by Hurricane Harvey.
Mark Chapman (’14)
Katie Huguelet (’16)