Shelby Strickland UP managing editor

Shelby Strickland
UP managing editor

I would imagine those who stayed in their homes during Hurricane Harvey and had to be evacuated by boat did not realize what severity of flooding the storm would bring. Many families in the areas that surrounded my home were flooded out of their own homes, and I, who knows very little about flood patterns, hadn’t a clue of what my family and I were in for when staying home during Harvey.

If my home or car was flooded, I was unsure of how I would continue the semester at Lamar and, in turn, how my expected graduation date would be affected. I worried about loss of money as I had missed a week of work. Although I wasn’t spending money at the time, I wondered how I would have to adapt after the storm.

I worried most for my friends and family in other areas. I received messages from friends telling me their homes had flooded and they were being taken to a shelter. The creek at the end of my neighborhood had risen and was entering homes just a short distance from my own. The main entrance to my neighborhood collapsed due to a sinkhole, and nearly three feet of water had flooded the only other exit available.

Fortunately, my house did not flood. My family did not lose a thing, and for this I feel immensely blessed, but this is not to say that Hurricane Harvey did not take its toll on me personally.

I stayed in my home for six nights with my parents and my sister, and my boyfriend who had come over for a family lunch the Monday prior to when the flooding began (I’m still apologizing for this). We were safe, but nonetheless distraught. Our eyes were fixed on the news, and taken back by the catastrophic damage that was taking place physically and emotionally in our own city and the surrounding area, yet there was nothing we could do at the time to help. Although not affected materialistically, the helplessness weighed just as heavily.

I do empathize with those who lost everything. But, of course, I am not sorry that my own home was unaffected, not for my sake but for the sake of my parents. I’m thankful that after the effects of the storm have settled, we are able to take the resources that we still have and extend that to others in need.

Story by Shelby Strickland, UP managing editor

Learn more about Lamar University at lamar.edu

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