Without a doubt, Houston/Southeast Texas has made history. Hurricane Harvey hits the Gulf Coast with a knock-out, Mayweather style, unfair and after 10 rounds. After multiple hurricanes hitting Houston throughout the years, Harvey has topped them all. More than 13 TRILLION gallons of water hit our beautiful home of Houston, Texas.
On August 25th at approximately 10 P.M. Friday night, Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas as a category 4 hurricane. From there, it began what would very well be a 5-day catastrophic event of ruthless wind, torrential rain, and flooding. With little time for residents of Southeast Texas to evacuate, the most anyone could do was stock up on supplies, and prepare for what truly was the worst storm the Texas coast has ever endured.
Houstonians took the weather alerts with a grain a salt. We had such little time to evacuate, prepare our homes, and gather supplies & groceries. Although Friday night wasn’t bad for Houston residents, it was Saturday night and going into Sunday, that made everyone realize this was more than just another tropical storm. Flooding was happening citywide. Cities/areas you wouldn’t have thought of, flooded. Some areas had well over 30, 40, even 50+ inches of rain. Rivers overflowed their banks, levees busted, and even the Addicks/Barker reservoirs were forced to release scheduled floods in order to avoid the dams from destroying surrounding neighborhoods.
With the flood waters higher than they’ve ever been, my brother and I were forced to go find extra food. What we saw firsthand after wading through almost knee-deep water, was a sight to behold. Gas stations remained open for anyone needing supplies, people helping each other and even rescuing pets, and small restaurants, such as the Italian Express Pizzeria, kept its doors open throughout it all. Little things like these go a long way. Just 5 minutes from my house, North Shore high school opened its doors as a shelter, not too long after flooding commenced.
(Photos by Michael Placencia)
The heavy rainfall was the most brutal element throughout all of this; forcing the National Guard, the Cajun Navy, HPD, many city officials, first responders, emergency personnel, and any available civilian to help assist and rescue those in need. Homes in various areas of Houston had up to 5 feet of water inside of them, causing many residents to leave everything behind, evacuate, and search for rescue. Helicopters were flying everywhere, making rescues near my neighborhood, and countless others. Sadly, a little over 20 causalities happened throughout the weekend. But from all the loss this event has brought with it, there is still hope…
In the most miraculous of ways, people all over the great city of Houston have come together unlike anything I’ve ever seen. From being trapped within my house due to flood waters nearly entering my home, I have witnessed helicopters fly above my home to nearby streets to make rescues, I saw boats travel up and down my street, and I have seen my own neighbors come together in such heartfelt ways. It is truly remarkable seeing so many people come together and help each other out.
Even through social media myself, my friends, and my family were all helping each other out. Constantly sharing and posting emergency numbers for those who needed it. I directed friends of mine who had boats towards others I who needed rescuing. Seeing so many of my friends (even people I rarely hear from) check up on my family, on others, and helping out fellow strangers…that’s something special. It’s something beautiful. The local music scene, especially the local EDM music scene here in Houston truly stepped up in more ways than one. I saw livestreams of those helping one another, updates of people donating items to local shelters, and just plain human kindness to everyone all around.
With Harvey finally out of the way, sunshine not only came over Houston, but throughout the depths of the city as well. The people of Houston came together so rapidly to support the city that they all love. Charity events, donations nights, food drives, helping neighborhoods, anything you could think of were being done to help the cause. Local shelters and huge convention centers had to TURN PEOPLE AWAY BECAUSE THEY HAD SO MANY VOLUNTEERS! That’s insane. The love Houstonians have for their city is crazy.
There was one special event that took place just days after Harvey left its mark on the Bayou city…
That’s right. The Together We are Houston event at Stereo Live – Houston, that took place Sunday September 3rd (only days after Harvey finished hitting Houston), truly personifies how not only a natural disaster can bring people together, but also the love for music and the love for the city as well. So many local DJs like Angiesliste, Surain, Kosko, Atwood, DRU, and so many more joined forces and gathered at Stereo Live in what was pretty much a mini-festival. Everyone that night had a great set, performed their hearts out, and overall spread good vibes and proved that Houston is a city that comes together in times of turmoil. Not to mention that 100% of the proceeds that night went to helping out victims of Harvey!!! For a benefit show to be organized that fast, conducted so well, and still raise and donate all of the proceeds the way it did, deserves to be applauded. Just another testament to what makes Houston as special as it is.
(Locals, Atwood and Dru with guest DJ ,MAKK, at Stereo Live)
This city…this entire great state has endured so much over the years. We as humans have proven time and time again that we have what it takes to not only endure, but unite together to overcome whatever is thrown our way. Whether it was Allison, Ike, or Harvey…Houston will ALWAYS stand strong. Stand united. And stand proud. The entire nation is now seeing how the lone star state is coming together to help everyone in need. There’s a famous slogan in the form of a sign with which every Houstonian knows, it says “Be Someone.” This storm has forced each and every one of us to do just that. Because it’s not just the Houston way. It’s the Texan way.
If you or someone you know needs assistance, has had damage to their house, or if you’re looking to donate or volunteer at any shelters, here is a list of info & numbers you can call:
The Harris County Residential Debris and Damage Assessment Hotline: 713-274-3880
Coast Guard Harvey Emergency Response Line: 202-372-2100
Text 90999 to donate $10 to The American Red Cross
American Red Cross Number: +1(800) 733-2767
Volunteers are still needed at the George R. Brown Convention Center (GRB) in downtown Houston. You can sign up through the American Red Cross online or show up in person