August 28, 2017

In Southdale and Other Hardest-Hit Areas, Another Long Night

Families all over Bellaire have been stranded in their homes, with the highest number reported in Southdale, which has experienced the most severe flooding.  Many of you in other low-lying areas are stuck as well.  Yesterday we received more than 1,750 calls for rescue.  To those still waiting, we haven’t forgotten about you.  Please hang in there just a bit longer.

The first rescue operations prioritized the elderly and disabled, and those with life-threatening emergencies.  Among them were a paraplegic resident who had water up to the top of his bed, a baby on medical equipment with a depleting battery, an insulin-dependent diabetic stranded without food, and others with serious medical conditions.  We successfully got them all to safety.  The other primary focus yesterday was on single-story homes with dangerously high levels of flooding, in which residents couldn’t simply run upstairs to get out of the rising water.

After nightfall, we continued rescue operations in the dark as conditions allowed.  Our first responders were out in high-water vehicles transporting people, as was the National Guard.  Metro assisted with transfers to area shelters.  Hundreds remain stranded, but overnight many who had previously called for help opted to stay in place after all.  We appreciate their resilience and will check in on them as conditions gradually improve.

As dawn breaks on a new day, we’re relieved to find that yesterday’s flood waters have at long last started to recede.  Brays Bayou is at the moment back within its banks, but barely.  This does not mean you can let your guard down, but it does mean we caught a break with lower overnight rainfall amounts than had been forecast, and that should help considerably with today’s rescue efforts.

It goes without saying, but we can’t say it enough, how much we all love and appreciate our first responders and Emergency Operations personnel.  We haven’t forgotten that they each have their own lives and their own families to take care of, and many of them live in areas hit at least as hard if not worse.  But in times like these they set aside their own needs to take care of ours.

I’ve heard from many of you asking how you can help.  Thank you.  Some residents have already been chipping in with donated boats and jet skis to help our rescuers get around.  Our sincere thanks to each and every one of them as well.  Bottom line, we’re going to be in this for the long haul.  Recovering from this disaster will take time and it won’t be easy, but together we’ll get through it.  To those of you in areas of our community that have been less affected, we’re going to need your help for days and weeks to come.