It was 130 mile-per-hour winds, blowing important memories away. Three feet of water, soaking and destroying personal items. It was 82 lives lost, and many-many more lives changed forever. Surrounded by water but unable to drink it; a water-shortage occurred in Houston.
Students here, and their families didn’t hesitate to help those in need from the aftermath of this category 4 storm. Hurricane Harvey hit August 25, 2017. It spread over 5 states, but affected South Texas the most.
Texas went through another Category four hurricane only nine years ago. Category Four’s often include long-term power outages and water shortages. The last category four hurricanes to hit Texas were Hurricane Ike back in September 1st of 2008, and Hurricane Carla hit back in September 3rd, 1961.
Students here drove to South Texas to help. Junior Matthew Walraven and Junior Isaiah Cavanaugh went to Houston on September 9th, along with their youth group and pastor, to help repair flooded houses. They tore out all of the sheetrock, furniture, and carpet so other people would be able to rebuild the houses, if possible, with newer things.
“It was shocking to see how everything somebody owned, and their whole life was completely destroyed and just thrown out like trash,” said Walraven.
Walraven went because he saw how the hurricanes went through Oklahoma and Louisiana back in 2005 with Hurricane Katrina, but he was too young to help. He couldn’t actually go and help. To serve others is something that he’s always wanted to do. Once he had the chance to go do just that, he took the opportunity, as did Cavanaugh.
“I like serving,” Cavanaugh said. “Whether it’s for people in need, whether it’s for people in this community, or people who were just hit by a hurricane. So, I went just because I wanted to help. I thought I could make a difference.”
They were sad that only thirty feet away from completely destroyed houses there were homes that were untouched by the water and destruction. They realized that people’s lives were either completely destroyed, or not touched and altered at all.
Sophomore Chandler Tolliver and worked with the school to collect donations for relief efforts there such as diapers, water, hygiene items, and more.
Tolliver and her father went to Sour Lake, Texas, near Beaumont, on September 3rd. They took everything that the school donated, plus thirty-five gallons of water, four-hundred pounds of ice, and diesel.
“It was sad, but very encouraging to see everybody that had already donated too,” Tolliver said.
Junior Jose Rodriquez’s Uncle, Tony Araguz, traveled to Houston on September 2nd. He went with his girlfriend, Veronica, and her daughter, Monique. They went to help families there and donated necessities such as diapers, clothes, water, and food.
“It was very sad to see personal items destroyed,” said Araguz.
He witnessed people living out on the streets because the shelters were too full. There were over 30,000 people displaced by the storm there. Their personal items and houses were completely destroyed by the floods.
Houston and all of Texas is busy rebuilding, and experts say it may be the costliest storm yet in U.S. history, costing from $125-$180 billion.
Although natural disasters are dreadful, it is very encouraging to see people come together and help those affected. Even though the rebuilding is already in full swing, you can still donate money through trusted organizations of your choice online. A little bit can go a long way.
These catastrophes actually do happen, and it can happen to anyone at any moment. You just have to put your faith in God, trust that He is watching over you, and everything happening is part of His plan.