Update: Graduates & Hurricane Harvey

Don McGown: is back home now after having to evacuate to his son’s Houston house.This is the latest that he sent to Pat: We had to walk several blocks through high water to get back to our house – and it is dry!!!  Praise God for His mercies.  The water came up to the front door, but it did not come into the house!  It has receded now about halfway down our driveway, and the heavy rain is over – so I think we are in the clear.  It will probably be 4 – 5 days before we can get out, but we that’s OK – we are home.  Thank you for all of your prayers.

David Walsworth:  I wasn’t on the original list, but I live in San Antonio and as reported by other class members, San Antonio “dodged” the proverbial bullet. We only had 2 inches of rain at our house. Windy conditions but not strong enough to do any damage at our place, and no loss of power. Remembering those still in harm’s way.

Hugh Wilfong told Pat Payne: As of yesterday, we are fine, dry in Austin.Our home in Houston is dry and we have power there. So far so good.

John Ferguson: Reporting from sun-splashed Galveston Island. At least, that’s what the Convention and Visitors Bureau would have me call it.

Galveston has so far escaped the really damaging winds. The incredible rain is another matter. It is expected that by Thursday, we will have received about 50 inches. Houston, with the same amount of rainfall, is experiencing catastrophic flooding. That whole city of five million people is at a standstill.

Galveston floods regularly, but only in the lower parts of the Island. The topography of Galveston (at least the 10-mile stretch behind the seawall) is one big slope. The highest point is atop the seawall, and the lowest point is in the historic district downtown. Water, whether coming from the Gulf or from heaven, immediately drains toward the lower bay side. If it’s high tide, or if there is a storm surge, that’s when the heavy flooding occurs. Galveston’s seawall, constructed after the devastating 1900 Storm, is 17 feet high. I live behind the seawall, just a few blocks from the beach. My front door is 14 feet above sea level, and I have never had any flooding issues on my property (knock wood). It must be pointed out, however, that as I write this, the Gulf Freeway (I-45) is flooded and for the most part closed, as are the approaches to both sides of the mainland causeway. The Bolivar Ferry is not in service, and the San Luis Pass Bridge dumps you into a flood plain. As Jim Maxwell so thoughtfully pointed out to me, I’m stranded. Even so, I’m in a magic bubble. I have electricity, working plumbing, air conditioning, telephone, Internet and cable. The ice machine continues to spit out cubes. It’s only a short walk to Kroger. All things considered, I’m pretty lucky. After 51 years in this magical place, and in spite of the periodic inconvenience of storms, I cannot imagine living anywhere else. Sand between your toes, and all that.

Tell everyone that John says hey.

Gwen Ewing Hodges: My son and family are under mandatory evacuation orders in Ft Bend Co.  Please pray for safety of them and all Houstonians!  Thanks!

Cathy White Land is safe and dry.

Anitra Harrell Henrion is safe and dry.

Gayla Miller Webb: Water is over the curb at their Houston home…..and if they can make it through tonight, she thinks their house will be okay.  She and Rodney are still in Fairfield.

Randy Farrar: (Corpus Christi)- reports no damage to his house.

From Scott Horne: The sheer size of this catastrophe is beyond comprehension. On our TV, the phenomenal number of rescues by just volunteers with their personal boats of all kinds is helping but not anywhere near what is needed…flooding is still in every street and neighborhood and apartment unit. Hundreds out of town guys have come here from many cities and states in their pickups pulling boats…just to help. Many have no place to stay but are just winging it however they have to. There are many, many areas and subdivisions that are still unreachable with many trapped people, kids, and animals. Water levels are going up in most areas, down in some areas, or staying the same but very deep in still others. Some people  just rescued in their areas say there are still 100’s “back in there” that still need help…old,  young, sick, invalid, etc. It just seems never ending…

We are still marooned in about 6 square blocks with flooding even though the heavy rains have stopped. A few local stores opened until their goods and food ran out, and more supplies can’t get to them for resupply.

Don’t know what you are seeing on your TV, but realize the situations are far worse than what they show. Now Far East Texas and La. are getting hammered by Harvey, so it’s all continuing for more days and weeks.

Again, we are ok. But thousands of others have lost their homes, cars, and all they once owned. Everything. Poor, rich, and all in between…no one is immune to these kinds of floods. Many had no flood insurance, of course, but even if they did, they are now being told the payout limit is $250K, no where near what is needed many cases. Many very wealthy people here did not know this and are outraged. Seems like very few knew that beyond that limit, they needed private insurance. Just saying…no one could have anticipated this size of a natural disaster in this country, so obviously most were totally unprepared financially or emotionally for this scope of catastrophe.

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