Thousands of people impacted by Hurricane Harvey turned to Twitter to share their personal experiences. We caught up with a few of them, here’s what they had to say (and sing).
SURVIVING FLOODS, TWICE IN A YEAR
Teiadra Quiñones, @CaliKilo, has now lived through two massive floods in a little over a year. She and her family moved to Houston, Texas, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following heavy flooding there in 2016 that forced her and her family to evacuate to a shelter for two weeks.
When the waters started rising to six feet in Houston — and even though were dry in their third floor apartment — Quiñones, 20, and her family weren’t taking any chances.
“I got my apartment on the third floor, because I knew the dangers of flooding,” she told us via Twitter messages. “The water was rising at a fast rate, instead of waiting me and my family left.”
She and her mother, father, sister and brother were able to get in their pickup truck and drive north to Dallas where they are staying with friends. She has another sister who is trying to join them with her 7-year-old nephews.
She’s worried about her job, she’s a food service worker at a Raising Cane’s restaurant in Houston, and it’s currently underwater.
“It’s going to take months to reopen,” she said. “Right now I’m feeling tired, and it’s scary. To go through the same thing only a year later.”
Despite this, she says she remains faithful.
“No matter how hard or how bad it may get, never lose faith,” Quiñones said. “This is an obstacle that we can all overcome together.”
SINGING THROUGH THE RAIN
Daniel Lynn, @_DanielLynnM, and his family evacuated their Baytown, Texas home Monday morning after the waters had reached waist deep on the streets and knee deep in their house.
They had hoped they could outlast the waters by stacking their belongings and getting everything off the ground, he said via Twitter messages.
“We luckily made it through Sunday alright, the water was just at our doorway but we thought we’d be okay. Then it really hit us Monday. That’s when this all happened,” he said.
“Once the water got in the house, I saw minnows swimming in my hallway and that stood out to me, and we live right on the bayou.”
Lynn, 21, said they they took some important belongings and left as fast as they could.
“We grabbed some clothes, our guns, guitars, and my grandma and got out as fast we could,” he said. “Once the water got in it came in fast.”
He, his grandmother, brother, aunt and mother and father went to a nearby hotel that was on higher ground, but flooding started to hit the hotel as well, so they drove to his cousin’s house in Mont Belvieu, Texas.
“People all around us were getting evacuated by boat but our cousin had a pickup truck that was high enough that he could get by and the water receded just enough,” he said. “It was weird seeing boats turning into the neighborhoods off the highway instead of vehicles.”
The Lee College student is also a musician, and he used the experience to pen a song.
Well my house flooded this morning so here's a song I wrote about it. It's called "A Storms Hitting Town". Pray for the Houston area! pic.twitter.com/Fezc9ZzV1R
— Daniel Lynn (@_DanielLynnM) August 28, 2017
“It was pretty much done by the time we got to the hotel,” he said. “Just had to pick up a guitar and make it happen.”
He said that he’s thankful that the community has come together.
“We lost a lot of material possessions but everybody is safe so I’m blessed and thankful,” he said.
EVACUATING IN THE DARK
Kristen Ast, @kristenast, evacuated her Houston home with her mother and brother’s girlfriend. Her father and brother stayed behind to vacuum out water. So far only an inch of water had entered their home.
But from the outside, it reached the windows of her house.
— Redd (@kristenast) August 29, 2017
Friends rescued them with a raft and brought them to their car that was down the street. They left at night. The light in the video below is from their front porch.
Ast, 20, is currently safe at her grandparents’ house.
WATCHING AND WAITING
Technician Marc F. Wilson, @mfwil, has lived on Lake Houston in Northeast Houston for more than 20 years.
The last big storm that he saw was in 1994, but he said that Hurricane Harvey is three times worse.
Wilson, 52, has so far emptied more than 3 feet of from his rain gauge.
They are currently dry and have power, but as his photos of Lake Houston show the water is getting closer and closer.
Click on photo to enlarge
“[I] was not to worried until I woke up this morning and saw water 50 feet from back porch,” he said.
“Typically the Lake Houston dam only holds back so much water before it just spills over the top. We have unprecedented upstream flow into the lake, and this is why we are now nervous.”
THANKFUL FOR HIGHER GROUND
Theresa Ghidoni Mueller, @theresaGM4, her husband Alan, and youngest daughter Katrina live in Pearland, Texas, about 20 minutes outside Houston.
They live in a neighborhood that was built in 2005, so all the homes were elevated and they are dry and have electricity, she told us on Twitter messages.
“All the major highways are flooded, including the parkway outside our backyard. We are unable to drive anywhere, the water has risen 9 feet in our area,” she said.
See a video she shot on Monday:
— Theresa (@theresaGM4) August 29, 2017
The next day she sent this video to her other daughter, Jessi:
My mom just texted me this from my house this morning. Please keep houston in your prayers pic.twitter.com/PSQIJneBuz
— Jessi Mueller (@Jessimueller_) August 29, 2017
Even though they can’t get out, she says they’re not worried.
“The rain has slowed and even stopped at times. The water level is going down slowly. We have enough food and water to last another week,” she said.
In 2005 they evacuated during Hurricane Rita, but in the end the Houston area wasn’t impacted.
“We packed up two dogs, four kids and two cars to travel to San Antonio. That’s normally a four-hour trip and it took us 20 hours in a traffic jam,” she said.
Three years later, when Hurricane Ike hit Houston, they decided to stay and ride out the storm.
“That was an amazing event! The eye passed right over Pearland. I remember waking the kids up around 3 a.m. to experience it. There was much devastation due to high winds, but not much flooding. Nothing like this,” she writes.
She said she doesn’t fault authorities for making Hurricane Harvey evacuation voluntary.
“With my experience, with evacuations previously from 2005, 7 million people is hard to move,” she said.
“No one could have predicted the flooding would be this great.”