Saturday, September 16, 2017

My Story Of Hurricane Harvey Including My House Flooding, Swimming In The Middle Of The Street, + A Bunch Of Other Super Weird stuff



Hi. Hello. Wooowww. It's weird to get on a computer again. It feels like forever since I posted although it's only been a couple weeks. To be precise the last time I posted it was the 25th of August and today is the 16th of September so that is *tries to do the math and fails* Ummm a long time. You know of those books where the main character is like "it seems so long ago even though it was only two days ago and I have changed so much I feel like a different person"? Yeah, that's how I feel which really shouldn't be the case. Soooooo.... If you haven't heard yet Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey hit Texas especially Houston pretty hard recently. As I type this it's pretty much over and almost everyone has moved onto Irma because hurricane season is just so fun *sarcasm intended*. You probably don't know but I live in Houston, Texas. It's an amazing city that is the 4th largest in the country and home to amazing cultures and people and places. One interesting flaw about it though is that it floods quite easily. I have now been through three floods in the past 2 and half years. I'm not even exaggerating. The first two times though were a lot smaller which is why you probably didn't hear about it. A lot of my friends flooded but thankfully I didn't. This time I wasn't so lucky. I thought why not make something of what happened and write a blog post about it. It helps me and maybe it will be entertaining to you. First, though I'm going to address why I haven't posted. At first, it was because of course flooding and now it is because we just got the internet in the house we are staying in and my computer charger somehow died and we just got a new one. Lots of fun things.














I put stickers on my face. Deal with it. 


I had heard about the hurricane of course and I was kind of scared but I thought it would be ok. On Friday, August 25th (the big thing was on Sunday) I woke up and the sky was dark and It looked like nighttime. This had happened before though so I wasn't so scared. Houston seems to either be in a drought or just raining all the time. Haha. So I went to check my phone and opened my news app because I'm a weird 12 year old who does things like that.  I was kind of surprised to find that pretty much everything was about the storm. This made it a lot more real in my mind. I hadn't really comprehended how bad it would be until then. 
My parents were already awake and my mom looked worried and told me and my sisters we would have to do a lot of stuff today to prepare. So that is exactly what we did all day. We rolled up all of the carpets (which I find pointless but my dad said some of them were "priceless" so I gave up arguing). After doing that we got a bunch of cans and put them under basically every single piece of furniture in the house. At this point, my mom had started talking about things like getting on the roof and needing a ladder if the water got that high. I still didn't think we would flood though. Once done with raising the furniture we picked up everything we could off of the floor. I again thought that this was pointless but it turned out to save a lot of my things. It was around 12:00 when we finished doing everything. I got on my computer and posted this post. You can see from that post I don't think I will flood. By the time I posted this video though I was almost sure it would flood. 
The next day I wake up and it was of course raining. I looked at my phone and once again the storm was the front page of everything. Maybe I was just in a really sad mood but I think that is the point that I decided and finally realized we would flood. There was this humongous Category 4 (it went down to a tropical storm but at the time) Hurricane coming directly towards Houston. Houston floods just when it rains for a couple hours. I don't remember that much of what happened that day but I do remember going to the store a couple times and so many things being sold out. It was like the end of the world or something. It was pretty much all of the disasters "grab everything from the store" movies but in real life. I think maybe a couple of my sister's friends came over but I'm not really sure. Also, I made cupcakes. Those were amazing. Just saying. I do have some skill cooking wise. Sometimes. At around 8:00 there started to be a tornado warning so we went in the hallway and played risk. I'm pretty sure the bayous (things that hold water) hadn't overflowed. Then I, of course, get a call from my friend and the water is literally up to her door. This scares me because her area isn't supposed to flood. It's all very weird and hectic and just kind of horrible. At maybe 9:45 I get in bed and although it takes me a while to fall asleep I finally do.
I woke up the next day at around 5:30 to the lights on and footsteps in the hallway. My mind doesn't immediately go to flooding though which interests me. Instead, I just thought that my dad had woken up early as he does sometimes. After maybe 10 minutes he basically barges into my room and says water is coming into the house. I have an interesting thing where when something bad happens I tend to smile and laugh. This is not because I have no heart or feelings but I think it is a coping mechanism. I'm not sure. But like if you tell me someone died and I smile it's because of that. So when he told me that I just kind of smiled put on my clothes and half walked half ran out of my room. I was going to the living room when I noticed our bathroom and how it was totally absolutely under water. I would think in a situation like this I would be thinking about like life and all that but I was more thinking about how it was a cool adventure. It might be because I was tired but it might have also been because I had already told myself it would flood so it wasn't really a surprise. I put on my rain boots and for the next hour or so we worked to get everything together. We were already prepared for flooding but we put towels near the door and raised all of the furniture higher and stuff like that.
I'm not exactly sure but I think after maybe an hour or two all of the floors were covered in water. Like that is all it took to pretty much destroy the house. Once we had done everything we could for a while we just sat. It had been raining the whole time and water was rising.  I am not sure when but at some point, the water got so high to the electrical and the dishwasher caught on fire and we put it out quickly but after that, we had to cut the power. At around 8:00 the water got to about 1 feet in the house and at 10:00 2 feet. At about 10:15 we decided to go to the neighbor's house because staying in our house was both dangerous and absolutely torture. The neighbor was 8 houses down and had two stories so all though that wasn't ideal it was a lot better than us. So we started packing all of the stuff that we could and making sure that we had done everything. At this point outside of our house there was maybe 4 feet of water and on the street at least 5 so there was a lot of boats and kayaks going around which is kind of crazy now that I think about it. We got someone we knew to take my mom and my two sisters to the house and me and my dad stayed. All through this whole thing I was thinking about my grandparents who lived right next door. My Teta (grandma) has a bad knee so she slips quite easily and I was getting very very scared something would happen to her.  When the guy came back my dad asked him if he could pick up my grandparents and bring him to the house. He said yes but after he picked up someone else first. The water kept rising and I was getting scared I wouldn't be able to stand outside of the house so then me and my dad got out stuff and walked outside. Can I just comment on how crazy this experience was? The water was almost to my shoulders in our front yard. Like that should never happen. So when we were satisfied we wouldn't die we walked over to the neighbor's house. I remember thinking how cool it was to see the dry ground because I hadn't seen that in like 8 million hours. After we arrived my dad went back to get the rest of our stuff and to check on my grandparents. He did that a couple times which had to have been torture for him until my mom said that the guy probably forgot and that they should just walk here. This whole time I was getting very very scared. As I said my grandparents are old and short and not in the best medical condition. It was both dangerous for them to try to walk to the house but also to stay at their house. I was personally against them trying to walk over here but my mom said they should because the water might keep rising. They did arrive safely but that was definitely one of the scariest (emotionally) things I have gone through. I think it was around 11:30 at this point and I was seriously getting hungry so I ate some chips that the guy had. I am not exactly sure what time but I am guessing around 5-6 my mom gets texts from her friends saying that we need to get out of the house and that it could be dangerous even in a second story. This makes her totally freak out so when we see a boat we ask them if they can bring us to the Kroger which is being used as like a pickup center and they say yes. This was both fun and kind of crazy because we literally slid down the roof onto the boat. Both scary and awesome. They drop us off at the Kroger and we wait there for a while for one of my mom's cousins who has a boat to come pick us up. He ends up not being able to get there and that is when I see like legit military national guard army trucks driving through my neighborhood in like 6 feet water. I mean that's kind of cool. We figure out that they're going to pick up everyone at the Kroger and bring them to the convention center that they are using as a humongous shelter. I remember telling my dad about a book that I read about hurricane Katrina and how some people died in the convention center. I'm not sure where I was going with that but I think deep down I might have been a little scared. The people let me and my sisters sit in the front where there was a cover but my mom and grandparents had to sit in the back where there was no cover at all whatsoever. Take in mind that it was still raining and the drive was at least 30 minutes to the center. I was talking to the guy who was driving us and I found out that the trucks are actual army trucks that are used to transport weapons and ammo. Not really made for people. I seriously feel so bad for my parents and grandparents and everyone who had to go through that. Me and my sisters were very very lucky. We got to the center and sign in and at this point, we are still pretty intent on going to a hotel or something so we call on our already drained phones and of course, find out that they are all full or closed because of course. It is now around 10/11 pm and we are all tired and wet and just kind of miserable. We decided to just give up and sleep there. They had cots and blankets and food and clothes which are basically all we wanted at the moment. We run into a couple of people we know so we get cots near them and after like two minutes I am fast asleep. The following morning my friend's dad came to pick us up.
I have the coolest friends pretty much ever so one of my friends let us stay at her house for I think about a week. It was so crazy going back to my house. Like wow. I can't even really describe it and because I'm a complete lunatic I don't have any pictures. Over that week my mom and dad and so many amazing people who came to help pack up all of our stuff, knock out the walls, and just generally clean. It's so weird seeing your house without walls like a bare slate because you have so many memories there. The neighborhood that I live in is very flood prone and I am going to say at least 3 quarters of the whole neighborhood flooded so when you drive or walk around there its just kind of devastating. There are piles of old furniture and pieces of flooring and walls and it makes me truly kind of sad. After maybe a week and a half of staying at peoples houses we finally moved into our own place which is where we are now. We were so so lucky because we had a house we were about to sell that did not flood so that is where we are staying now. The annoying thing was that it didn't have any furniture so I only got a bed two days ago and beds are good so it's kind of annoying.
 The generosity of people though all throughout this was amazing. The pastor from our church was at our house like every day that week just helping and so many people that we didn't even know came to help. Something I found kind of cool but also funny is that there were people just on the back of trucks handing out food. Like that is so awesome. I think up until a couple days ago and maybe now though there were/are houses that are still flooded. The reason for this is because there was something that held water that had so much water that it was going to break. The city decided that instead of letting it break they would instead release it slowly. I feel like this was a logical decision but also one that made so many more homes flood. Speaking of the city shoutout of to our Houston Mayor who is just kind of awesome and I think did a very good job throughout this whole thing. Another shoutout to the people who have people who have been bringing us dinner these past few days. Especially whoever brought the swirly brownies. Like those things were amazing. School wise my sisters school flooded so they can't open again until a bit later and in a different location but my school thankfully didn't. It started this Monday and I have been kind of loving it so far but now that we live so far away we have to get up earlier then we are used to and my parents drive me and it's a whole thing.



First I'm going to hopefully be posting every Monday so if you were wondering that is my new schedule. But also I'm not like back back as I still don't have internet so there is that. Ok so just to make it clear I did not write this post because I want everyone to say how sorry they are in the comments. I know this might be a bit harsh but I have heard enough of that already. There are a couple things you can do to help though. Number one is if you have any friends or family that was affected by the storm then reach out to them and ask them what you can do. If you have not been through a flood then you will not know all of the stuff you have to do. Like it's crazy. If you don't live near the people then you can still help. My mom set up like a wish list thing online so if you know anyone ask them if they have something like that or if you can help research something or call someone or anything. Number two if you don't know anyone but you still want to help then donate. There are so many amazing organizations out there that are/were helping people and it's really cool. I don't actually know that many but you should totally research it. Number three follow my blog and tell me how amazing I am in the comments. It helps, it really does.


Have you ever been through a flood? Has your house ever flooded? Have you ever been through a hurricane? Have you ever been through any type of natural disaster? Did you know about Harvey before you read this post? Should I do more story type posts like this?


16 comments:

  1. You ARE amazing, Nabila. As I was reading this I couldn't help but think that you're at least the second most intelligent woman I know. And you're only 12. I'm not sure if that reflects well on you or says more about my sad condition.

    You've both shocked and reassured me. I felt certain that you'd be OK. It's still a little terrifying to think what you had to go through. WAIT! ... what about POOR ME?! I've been without a new blog post for 2 WHOLE WEEKS! Shame on you! Now the question is ... Can Ray recover? Will he ever be the same? Will he ever trust again?!! Only time will tell.

    You're one great kid.

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  2. YIKES. I'm glad you're okay though! I was a bit worried about y'all, Harvey looked awful. :/

    My church and my friend's church is doing a huge Harvey drive. My church is bringing food and home supplies over, and my friend's church is bringing school supplies to school's that were flooded.

    I hope it all gets better, and I'm glad you and your family stayed safe. <3

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    1. It was pretty awful but I am ok which is the most important thing so I am pretty happy about that.

      That's cool that your church is doing something! I think a lot of people are trying to help and it's kind of amazing. Where do you live?

      Thanks!

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    2. I'm happy that you're safe too! I was watching the news and how it was getting worse, and I started worrying about all of my blogger friends in Houston.

      I live in Bryan College Station, which is a college town three or two (depends on traffic) hours away from Houston, we got a lot of rain and minor flooding, nothing like y'all had though.

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    3. Yeah the news was very scary and truly it was kind of worse than even what you saw on the news which is like not something someone should say. Haha.

      Ok cool. So you live pretty close by? It's good you guys don't get that much flooding. Maybe if this happens again I can just go stay with you. :)

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    4. That sounds awful. :/

      Yep, we do. The worst we usually get is wind damage, last year my friend's roof got ripped off, and his neighborhood was pretty wrecked, but that was it, thankfully.

      Maybe! :)

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    5. Yeah. Haha. :)

      Ok so the weird thing about houston is that of course we do get hurricanes sometimes of course with wind and all that but this time we got like no wind. All of the damage was just from the rain pouring for 3 days straight. Like technically the hurricane never really hit us it was just something else that I have forgotten and is way to lazy top look up. :) :) :)

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  3. Oh my goodness. This sounds horrible. It's very lucky you had a house.
    I had a tornado come through my town about five years ago, and it was one of the most terrifying things ever to happen to me. We just had a tree land on our house and none of our stuff got messed up, but we couldn't live there for six months. We lived with friends for a while and it made me appreciate not having to sleep on an air mattress every night.
    It's really amazing how disasters like this bring people together.

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    1. Yeah we were very lucky we had a place to go and stay.
      Ok fun fact I have been through a tornado when I was visiting my grandparents in Oklahoma one year but I have never like been directly hurt by one or anything like that. A tree falling on your house though sounds very very scary.
      Disasters do bring people together though which I think is really good.
      Thanks for commenting Evy!

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  4. I'm sorry to hear about your house being flooded. It's awesome that people are helping each other and acting like a community in times like these. Your story was the first I read that made me see what it's like to go through a flood. It was an incredibly interesting post. :)

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    1. Yeah! It is so cool how when something bad happens everyone comes together and just helps which is not something you see that regularly. I think that was the goal of this to show people what is it like to go through something like this so I'm happy you found it interesting.

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  5. Seriously, this is a beautifully written account of survival. I'm very glad you shared it.

    Apart from something I'm not at liberty to mention, all of my misadventures have been personal. I tend to think that if it has to happen to someone, better me than someone else. While you were dealing with Harvey, I was having a bad reaction to a new BP drug. The worst thing is that I accidentally discovered that if I took my pressure while watching a certain blond on TV, I got much lower numbers. That made me think who do I know who looks like her? Then I realized who that tall blond is. @#$%!! She must NEVER know!

    There are a BUNCH of folks on Amazon asking for help. It's a great way to help families in Houston and Florida.

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  6. Your account of the hurricane is so well presented. I like the way you were able to keep everything in order as it happened and still present your own feelings at the time. I’m proud of how well you all handled some very serious events. So glad everyone survived safely. Love you all!

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