We decided to write about Hurricane Harvey to share about what Houston will be experiencing. As California girls, this is our first time ever experiencing anything like this and we have been blown away by the power of this storm. It has completely taken over our entire city. We’ll be documenting day by day and adding the most recent updates here at the top.
Tuesday – Sept 5th, 2017
The past 10 days have felt more likeÂ 10 months. This will be our last update for this live blog and if you’ve been following along, you may be confused as to why we haven’t updated in the last four days. As you can imagine, our entire city has gone into all-hands-on-deck mode and that has left little time for anything else. Earlier today, as Aaron and I were just reflecting on the past week and a half, we talked about how grateful we are for so much.
We are grateful that our Mayor didnât issue an evacuation. Although so many people in other parts of the world thought we should have, evacuating 2.3 million people would have put people in completely stopped traffic for hours with the rain falling and streets flooding. Not to mention the amount of panic that would ensue and cause even more chaos.
We are grateful for the faithful professionals in charge of making the tough decisions for our reservoirs and bayous. They worked tirelessly and kept us informed the whole way. Residents even raised 15k for meteorologist for the Harris County Flood Control District Jeff Lindner, so that he could go on vacation. Unfortunately, he could not accept the funds, so heâs donating it to Harvey relief efforts.
We are grateful for the way this catastrophe has brought so many people together. Houston has responded to this devastating event in the most valiant way and it has been an example to the nation. We have been so blessed to be a part of this surge of kindness, generosity and selflessness.
We pray it stays.
We pray it rebuilds this city.
We pray it becomes the standard.
Over the past week, we have taken part in passing out donations, demo-ing homes that were flooded and caring for friends and strangers alike. This is the beginning of a long journey for our city and we plan to be in it for the long haul. Please continue to pray for those affected by Harvey. May our cities come back stronger, together.
Thursday – August 31, 2017
Today was an exhausting yet heartwarming day. We were able to serve in two different places and the first was at The Grove that is located in the Heights. The Grove is a missionary site for our church and was flooded by Hurricane Harvey. So we made our way over there to help out with the damage that was done there. We began to take out drywall up to 4 feet high. So we got down and dirty and started working, hey ladiessssss.
After we finished up at The Grove, we made our way back to Houston’s First to help out sorting clothes, moving boxes, and assisting families as they came to get what they needed.
The day came and went and I am so thankful that we were able to help so many families. It’s times like this where I remember how amazing the Lord is and how He is using us to be a light and to love on these people. I felt truly blessed to be able to support all these families that were coming in. We are bouncing back from this and together we will stand to help anyone that was affected from Hurricane Harvey. #houstonstrong
Wednesday – August 30th, 2017
All around Houston today, there have been lines of people. Not waiting for food, or water or housing…but waiting to volunteer. It’s been such a breath of fresh air to see and every time I see a picture somewhere, I cry a little. People are giving their time and giving their lives to care for total strangers. The water has devastated so many families, but I’ll tell you some good things the water washed away. It washed away pride, division, selfishness, color, and status until nothing was left but our plain humanness. And that is what has brought this city together. Humans being human and saving humans. You don’t need a boat or a bunch of money to make a difference. All we need is to roll up our sleeves, get our hands dirty and our hearts active. Let’s love this city back to life.Â #houstonstrong
What we need now, more than ever, is to hold on to hope, love and the light that will be put out. We made these wallpapers to have reminders of hope on our phones and at our fingertips. Feel free to use and to share. Just press the image that you would like until a “Save Image” option pops up to save it to your camera roll.Â
Tuesday – August 29th, 2017
We are on day 5 of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. So far the rain has subsided in some areas of Houston, in other areas the rain continues. We have watched countless videos of people’s homes being flooded, but also other videos of the flooding receding away from homes of different friends of ours and we are so thankful for that.
As of this morning, there has been an overspill of water from the reservoirs that are west of downtown Houston. The purpose of the reservoirs, as we shared yesterday, is to contain the water in order to preserve downtown but unfortunately, those dams have spilled into the nearby neighborhoods in an uncontrolled release. This is devastating for all those homes near the reservoir. The Addicks Reservoir for the first time in history went over the 108 ft spill gauge, this is extremely dangerous for the subdivisions nearby. Then soon after the Colombia Lakes levee was breached and the subdivisions close to it were told to get out immediately, they had to evacuate their homes.
The National Weather Service gave a very notable fact on the amount of rainfall that Houston has had from June 1 – August 28. They have declared a total of 50.16 inches of rain. The average annual rainfall is 49.77 inches.
Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist from Harris County Flood District said,Â “The biggest challenge we face right now is to determine how the flow interacts with the system, and how the water will go as it comes out of the spillway,”Â
As of right now, we are unable to get much further out beyond our neighborhood. You can imagine that it’s so hard to watch our fellow Houstonians in such devastation while we can’t even get there to help. So we’ve been trying to help with what we can in our own neighborhood and seek ways to help from afar.
We know so many of you want to help out the people of Houston as well, so we decided shareÂ some more organizations that you could choose from to give to. There are so many different ones that are for specific needs. We thank you in advance for your donations, our city will need all hands on deck once the storm completely passes, but we still have so many people that have had to evacuate to shelters. These shelters are in dire need for more food, supplies, clothes, and toiletries.
If you would like to donate money to a food bank, there are many listed below that are located in different nearby cities of Houston.
- Houston Food Bank
- Galveston Food Bank
- Food Bank of the Golden Crescent (Victoria)
- Southeast Texas Food Bank (Beaumont)
Shelter for the Displaced
Help for Babies
If you would like to help and donate to those who need medical assistance, Direct Relief USA is providing prescription drugs and other medical tools for Houston shelters.
Houston Coalition for the HomelessÂ is providing shelter for the homeless in different areas and they continue to update their site with the shelters that currently have space. You could make a financial donation to help them continue their efforts.
For those who are in Houston and are stranded like we are, there’s an SMS chatbot to help you find the nearest shelter that you can donate to. Text your address to 346-214-0739.
We posted this on our social media pages and we continue to have FAITH in the Most High to prevail during this time. Join us in praying, giving and helping any way you can.Â
Monday – August 28th, 2017
Houston has continued to take hit after hit from the rains that Hurricane Harvey has flooded us with. Last night, we did not receive as much rain as we did Saturday night, but it wasn’t going to take much, in addition to what we already had, to flood more homes and devastate more families. We continue to watch the shocking scenes of people being rescued from their flooded homes and praying as we watch.Â Some communities have been asked to evacuate and we have a number of friends who have fled their homes to drive as far away as they can.
Last night, we all received news that the Army Corps of Engineers who make decisions for our Addicks and Barker reservoirs declared that they will be releasing water into Buffalo Bayou. These reservoirs were created to prevent Buffalo Bayou from flooding in the first place in order to save downtown Houston. This decision to release shows how grave the circumstances are in that they need to release water to preserve the integrity of those reservoirs. If they didn’t do this controlled release, we would be facing a situation where those basins would burst and obviously cause way more problems. This release caused many families to flee their homes and seek other shelter.
There have been thousands of boat and helicopter rescues. People like the Cajun Navy from New Orleans have traveled here to help rescue people from their homes. It has been absolutely incredible to see people come together to help one another. The things that have divided our country in recent days no longer matter because people have instead chosen to link arms to say, “we will get through this”.
It has been so heartbreaking and yet such a testimony of hope and faith in humanity to see people realizing that we can set differences aside to come to one another’s aid. All eyes are on Houston right now and it’s amazing to see this city step up to be an example of what it looks like to grab hands and persevere through this kind of epic catastrophe together.
“America is not what happened in Charlottesville.
America is what is happening in Houston”.
Those of us here in Houston who are hunkering down in our homes and feel trapped because we can’t go out to help due to the flooding, we do the best thing we can do – pray. The second thing we can do to help is to donate to one of these organizations that are doing their best to rescue and provide necessities to those who have lost everything. Our church, Houston’s First Baptist Church, has also set up a way to donate directly to Hurricane Harvey relief in Houston.
The Salvation Army
PO BOX 1959
Atlanta, GA 30301
American Red Cross
PO Box 37839
Boone, IA 50037-0839
1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669).
Let’s keep praying and continuing to love on people anyway that we can. Even if it’s the simplest things, it helps. We live in a neighborhood with a lot of elderly people and though we may not be able to get out to help rescue people from homes, we can help dig trenches and clear drainage areas in our neighbors’ yards to ensure water doesn’t get in their homes. We can all come together to help and pray.
A friend of ours sent this text earlier today:
All eyes are on Houston!Â
Praying God will rescue, restore, redeem and transform our city for His Purposes and bring revival to our nation.Â
What if we all expected & anticipated His Spirit to come in like a flood?
To make all things new? To bring people together? And breathe new life to our nation?
Harvey is no respecter of person or status or race…what if Houston becomes like a city on a hill…a beacon of HOPE to a divided nation?Â
Oh, that there would be an unprecedented outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our city that would overtake our nation and bring repentance, healing, hope & restoration to our broken and divided country! Jesus is with us in the storm.Â
His eye is upon us.
Sunday – August 27, 2017
Wow… it has been a long night of non-stop rain and more flooding in Houston. As of right now we are safe and have no flooding in our homes. Our area looks clear – all we have is heavy rainfall at random times. Like Quimi said above, a lot of cities have experienced heavy amounts of rain and tornados that have damaged their homes. The tornado warnings and heavy rainfall have now moved closer to us in Houston, which is east of where the hurricane began.
Early this morning, our friend and his family had bad flooding in their home. They had to move to higher ground in the last room that had not flooded yet and were praying and worshipping Jesus during that time. They had called the rescue team to let them know that the rainÂ hadn’t stopped and the water was continuing to rise closer up into their home. Praise Jesus they were rescued and now are in a safe zone at a high school near by.
This is happening all over Houston. Situations like this, where the people have to start to evacuate their homes because the flooding is getting that bad. Here are some pictures of current flooding in various areas of Houston.
370 billion gallons of water have rained on Houston over the last 48 hrs. That is more rain than any previous hurricane or even tropical storm Allison which was one of the biggest and worst storms ever to get to Houston. This is by far the worst storm that has ever hit Houston and cleanup is going to be a long affair. It is going to cost billions of dollars for all the repair that will need to be done due to the damages of this storm.
Thousands of people have been rescued since last night. Mayor Sylvester Turner has announced that the priority right now is life-threatening calls.
As stated in Fox News,Â “The hurricane dumped more than 20 inches of rain in the Houston area, causing “life-threatening catastrophic flooding” in southeastern Texas, The National Hurricane Center reported. Up to 40 inches of rain is expected in some parts.Â Harris County sheriff’s spokesman Jason Spencer said flooding throughout the county that includes Houston and the region is so widespread that it’s “difficult to pinpoint the worst area.”
We continue to pray and pray for all those in Houston who are going through flooding, having to evacuate and take actions to save their families. We pray that the Lord would be with them during this time and comfort them as they endure these hard moments. Stay tuned for more updates to come as we fight this storm!
We hang on to these words said by our Mayor Sylvester Turner,Â “This storm will not break our spirit. We are in this together and we will rebuild even greater together afterÂ #HurricaneHarvey“
Saturday –Â August 26, 2017
It’s been almost 24 hours since Harvey made its landfall in the Southeast Texas Coast. The hurricane swept ashore as a Category 4 storm devastating coastal communities. This is the first Category 4 to hit the U.S. since Hurricane Charley in 2004 and the first in Texas since 1961. Like Sami said yesterday, this is all new to us California girls and we’ve been freaking out off and on. My husband Aaron (who has lived in Texas his whole life) has been teaching me about hurricanes and how Texans deal with them since this is my first experience.
I’ve lived in Houston for almost 7 years but haven’t yet experienced anything more than heavy rainfall, which that in and of itself scares me sometimes especially when it makes driving so difficult. No lie, the first time I drove through heavy rain on a six lane highway in Houston 6 years ago, I cried. Call me a baby, but it was scary. We don’t have rain like this in California.
Here are some photos from the havoc that Harvey created last night in towns like Rockport, Corpus Christi and Port Lavaca. They are the ones who have received catastrophic damage as well as one reported person who has lost their life.
This morning, Harvey was declared down to a tropical storm, but that doesn’t mean things are going to dwindle down anytime soon. Cities surrounding Houston like Sienna Plantation (where Aaron and I go to church), Katy and Cypress have seen tornados today. The one in Cypress just hit a couple hours ago.
Weather reports say that we will be seeing immense amounts of rain and flooding for next few days and that it may even carry on into early next weekend. So far today, on our area of town, it’s been a mildly rainy day, but we know the brunt of it is still to come. The local news just said that Buffalo Bayou, which is one of Houston’s main irrigation systems, is expected to reach 65ft of water and if it does so, that would be a record high! That’s crazy. Houston has always been resilient though, and we’re ready to ride this thing out. Our Mayor was interviewed this morning and encouraged us all to watch out for each other and “…stay calm, let’s stick together as a family.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with those that have already been so greatly affected by Harvey and we pray that the Lord would continue to protect and provide for Houston families.
As you know, we can always count on the internet to provide us with some relief humor in the midst of any chaos. These are two of my favorite pictures I saw today.
For now, we are going to hunker down here in Houston and wait to see what the weathers brings our way. Stay tuned!
Friday – August 25, 2017
My first initial thought when I heard about all this Houston weather chaos was, “nahhhhÂ it won’t be that bad!” Of course, since I’ve lived in Houston for about 3 years now, I see how often the weather can change in just minutes! We always have unpredictable weather here, it could be hot and sunny all day but then all of the sudden the clouds cave in and a rainfall hits! It’s just crazy ridiculous. Anyways, all this talk of a hurricane coming has definitely opened up our eyes to being safe and preparing for possible power outages, flooding, and shortage on water and food. Since we are from California, we have never had to deal with intense weather changes or what it takes to prepare for something like this. In the beginning, we were told it was going to be a tropical storm, and now they’re saying HURRICANE!! We have no idea what to do in order to prep for a possible Hurricane!
When they confirmed that a Hurricane was going to head east (Houston)Â from the coast (Corpus Christi/Brownsville), we started to do all that we could toÂ be ready. They named it, Hurricane Harvey. First of all, how in the heck do they know how to name it?! It’s such an odd thing, but something we were definitely wondering about, lol. Second, how does this happen so quickly? My mind is just running around in circles, trying to understand how a hurricane will happen in a matter of hours. Corpus Christi and Galveston have already experienced a drastic storm. So far, that area has been hit with tons of rainfall and flooding. It is predicted that we will not get hit until Monday or Tuesday. But still, it’s just a prediction.
Almost all of the grocery stores look like this. They are restocked in the morning but then look like this again hours later. Everyone is stocking up to be safe and ready when Harvey hits!
My parents have been freaking out because we don’tÂ know what to do when something like this happens. They’ve been hearing from friends that are from Houston on what to do, and immediately began to buy all we could to be ready for anything coming our way.Â In order to prep for this weather insanity, we followed suit and went out to the local grocery store to stock up on non-refrigerableÂ food and tons of water. People that have lived in Houston for many years have been buying generators and filling up containers with gas… it is definitely said to be a serious, serious storm. The winds are at high speeds of 110 mph and it is said that the rainfall will come shortly after. WeÂ foundÂ SpaceÂ CityÂ WeatherÂ to be a great sourceÂ for local info withoutÂ all theÂ hype fromÂ sources likeÂ the WeatherÂ Channel or CNN.
Stay tuned for more info on Harvey and what’s going on around Houston as the Hurricane Harvey rolls into town.