Monday, September 4, 2017

We Survived Hurricane Harvey






It's been a long time since my last blog post.  The last time you heard from 
me was just prior to the arrival of Hurricane Harvey.  It was such a scary time.
David was out in west Texas, about an 8 to 9 hour drive away when I learned
that the hurricane was predicted to make a direct hit on our area.  I called him
and encouraged him to please cut his business trip short because the storm
was in fact, headed our way.  

We really did not have too much time to prepare.  I needed him home to
board up the windows.  We have about 25 windows in this house and they
are primarily huge ones ~ floor to ceiling in many rooms and 17 feet
of windows in the family room.  The family we purchased  the home from
(and the original builders back in 1948), left us with sheets of plywood to
cover the windows in case of a hurricane.  When you live on the South Texas 
Gulf coast, hurricanes are inevitable. 

Our home is surrounded with huge live oak trees.  The possibility of having
one of these trees either being uprooted, or having huge limbs fall on our
house was daunting.  

The hurricane made landfall between Port Aransas and Port O'Connor
on Friday night as a Category 4 storm with winds of 130 mph.  Port 
O'Connor is only 51 miles from Victoria.  Port O'Connor is a little fishing 
village on the Gulf and it is a very popular place to visit for residents
of Victoria because it is so close, and has such great fishing.  When
we learned that Harvey was at our back door, and not farther to our
west, we were really scared.  Port O'Connor is just a tad bit to the 
southwest of us and that would put us on the eastern side of the eye,
or what is known as the dirty side of a hurricane.   

The winds began around midnight.  I lived through Hurricane Alicia
that struck Houston in 1983.  It hit Galveston as a category 3 storm.  Where
I lived at that time was to the northwest of Houston, and although the winds
were still very strong when the storm reached my door, it had weakened
a bit.  However, Alicia's winds at my home back then, were nothing like the
winds we experienced from Harvey, a category 4 storm.  

Because we were on the dirty side of the storm, we sat in a slow moving
wall of the storm for a full 8 hours.  We would never experience the eye
passing over us.  The eye is actually a hole in the storm where the winds
are calm.  It's the walls of the storm that are strong, persistent and deadly.
That's where we were.  The power had gone off and all we could do
was to brace ourselves in the dark and pray while the strong winds
continued to batter our house.  At one point I thought we were going 
to die.  Sometime after 10 am the next morning, I filmed this short
video of the destruction from our front porch


The carnage of the storm seemed huge.  Limbs were down everywhere.
The long and persistent winds stripped the trees of their foliage.  Our
magnificent magnolia tree was still standing, but had been shredded.
Heartbreaking yes, but we were unharmed and that is the greatest
blessing.  





On our driveway, you can see the Yukon and a big generator.  David works
in the oil field service industry and was able to borrow a big generator to
power our house.  We didn't run the air-conditioning off of it because we
were concerned it would consume the diesel too quickly, but it powered 
our lights and kept the refrigerators and our chest freezer going, so we
didn't lose any food.  The power remained off for a week here in our 
neighborhood, and we lost water too.  Fortunately we filled our bath
tubs up prior to the storm so there would be water to flush the toilets.
David also picked up cases of water at the Costco in San Antonio while
on his way back home from west Texas.  We were fine in that respect.


We discovered that dear little Bentley figured out a way to keep himself 
cool by standing in front of the fan.  Here he is, windblown and loving it.
He was such a good and calm little guy throughout the storm.  He was
the only one who slept as the winds kept David and I awake for hours.
He is a brave and darling little one!



We had a crew come in and begin the yard clean up.  There is a huge
mound of fallen limbs and debris surrounding our house.  Eventually the
city will pick it up.  There is so much damage everywhere, that I expect
it will be weeks before we are back to normal.

The extensive flooding from the Guadalupe river never reached our 
door.  We are only about a half mile from the river, but fortunately it
is downhill from us.  The river was 10 feet over flood stage and many
areas were and are still flooded.  

If there can be any good that comes from this storm, it is this ~ in times
of crisis, neighbors pull together.  Hate just does not exist.  The playing
field is leveled and we are all important.  Once this storm and the devastating
floods that hit Houston have receded, and the clean up is complete,  it is
my prayer that we remember how special and important each and every
life is.  Life can be so fragile and nature is always in control.  Let's put
down the sword and hold our tongues and learn from this tragedy.

God bless us all.

Love,
Susan and Bentley










48 comments:

  1. Glad you are all okay, Susan!

    "we are all important"

    Amen to that.

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  2. Susan, so glad to finally hear from you, I was so worried. No post . You are indeed lucky, all those other Texans who have lost everything. I cannot imagine how they will cope and are coping daily.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, we are very fortunate to be safe and to have been spared the devastation many have endured and will continue to endure for quite a while.

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  3. Hi Susan.... OMGOSH- so glad you are ok and that power is back. I'm from the coast of FL originally and i will forever hate hurricane season. (lived through Andrew 1992 and Frances/Jeanne 2004). Praying for yall in clean-up and for all Texans. As well as...praying Hurr Irma will veer out to sea UGH. Your sweetness every single day and blog.. brings so much joy to all. And Bentley too... glad he was calm for the storm. I pray that you feel our love and prayers as Texans bounce back. Lotsa of love thoughts and prayers oxoxo

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. The prayers and kindness of others helped me to cope.

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  4. I am so glad that you, David and Bentley are fine. I prayed that you would be fine. There are so many bloggers in Texas and I am so happy that everyone seems to be fine.

    You are so right, we all need to work together, respect one another and get rid of hate.

    Take care Susan

    Mary

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    Replies
    1. Many of us were in the path of this terrible storm. So far all I know are fine, even if their homes are not. We can always rebuild, but cannot replace a precious life.

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  5. Thank you for sharing and adding photos. So thankful you all were ok.
    Joy

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  6. I am sooo happy that you are fine and that there is only tree damage for you--though I do feel for the trees--but often times they come back even better after some lose their branches and leaves---
    enjoy the moments, di
    I am on the east coast of FL and am watching Irma---

    ReplyDelete
  7. So relieved to see your blog. You, your husband and Bentley have been on my heart since Harvey arrived. Very thankful that you three are fine and that you did not have major damage to your home and car. You are so right; let's not lose what we have gained in experiencing human kindness during this frightening time.

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  8. So glad to know that you are all safe. That Bentley is a cutie with his wind tossed hair!

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  9. Susan, thank God that you and your family are okay. The photos sure put it all in perspective. We live on the coast of NC and have experienced a Catagory 1 Hurricane, which is frightening enough, so I can't imagine what you went through. God Bless You and all those in the path of destruction. In time, your great state will rebuild. Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement during times of devastation. I pray that everyone will take the time to stop and be a little kinder to one another.
    hugs,
    Sissie

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  10. So very happy you are all safe and sound. You must of kept your power for little bently to keep cool.
    Cathy

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  11. Susan . . . what an amazing account of the storm in your area! The entire nation is praying for victims of Harvey. Happy to see your home and neighborhood still "standing" and, although the branches, limbs and Magnolia tree are heartbreaking to see, I am so happy to see the progress made by the clean-up crew!!!! You and Bentley are BOTH very courageous!!!! So glad that your hubby was able to get home in time to help you prepare. Our prayers continue.

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  12. So glad you, David, and Bentley made it through. Continued prayers as you recover.

    Susan in PA

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  13. I'm so glad to hear that you are all okay. What an ordeal. Glad you made it through.

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  14. I know you must have been under so much stress and strain throughout the duration of the hurricane, and all that had to be done afterward. So happy you made it thru with minor damage. Glad you already had that plywood in advance of the storm and that your hubby was able to get back for you. Give yourself plenty of time to rest and decompress. xoxo

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  15. Wow, what a mess!! I wondered how you were doing and glad to hear everyone is safe....xoxoxo

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  16. Thanks for reporting in! I've been worried about and praying for you, as the Victoria area was so hard hit. I know that was a scary time, and a week without power is a major trial, I know!

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  17. Thrilled to hear from you and that your family is OK. Prayers for all of you as you re recover from this terrible storm.

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  18. Happy to hear you are safe....what a horrible devastating time for some.

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  19. So thankful y'all are safe. Inconvenienced, scared, but safe! I've read so many wonderful stories of how strong Texans are and how they've helped each other....it warms my heart just like this post!

    (((((hugs))))),
    Ricki Jill

    PS Little Bentley stayed cool. He's a smarty pants!

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  20. The blogosphere makes the world a smaller place because it is filled with friends all over the world and when disaster strikes we worry about each other. Glad to hear you are safe!

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  21. So good to know you survived this terrible storm. We have also survived the floods of Harris County, so thankful to be safe and DRY.

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  22. Susan I am just glad you and your husband are OK. So much damage. My family was lucky both in Corpus Christi and Houston.

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  23. God bless you, David and Bentley! What a nightmare experience! I pray that Irma goes out to sea. Thank you for sharing this with us. Your blogs are so uplifting. I appreciate that you share your heart, both happy and sad. It makes you so real and I feel like I know y'all. I join you in prayer that the aftermath will result in continued togetherness and love.

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  24. I'm so thankful you didn't have water in your house, and you survived the storm yourselves. My prayers are with you and others affected by Harvey and those in the path of Irma, too. Blessings!

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  25. I'm so glad you survived and with relatively minimal damage. I hope the trees recover, though it may take them some time. I have so many friends and family along the coast or in the Houston area (I'm in the hill country) - we have been praying hard for everyone (and now for Florida and the east coast :-( ). Bentley knew you'd keep him safe, bless him for giving you a smile in all this.

    Patty B

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  26. I am so glad to hear that you are all right.

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  27. So good to hear from you Susan! And I'm so thankful you and your family made it through this awful storm.

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  28. I prayed for you and I'm so glad that you are all okay. Life is hard. So hard. But also beautiful. I'm so glad you are able to see that even in the midst of this. You are quite a survivor. Blessings to you in the days ahead.

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  29. Thank Heavens you, David and Bentley are alright! I have a friend in The Woodlands who was evacuated, with her daughter and granddaughter. Fortunately they were able to return home the following day.

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  30. So, so glad to see you had less damage than what my mind's eye imagined. Still...it's an awful lot to deal with! I hope the cleanup, restoration and recovery efforts go well for all affected, especially those who have nothing left but the clothes on their back and their life. That was one heck of a storm, and now here comes the next with Irma in Florida!🙁

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  31. Praise be that you are all OK. Your beautiful yard will grow back over time, but at least you escaped the flooding. I'm so glad you posted, I've been very concerned for you and Bentley and David. God Bless.

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  32. Glad you were safe and your home didn't receive any damage. You are so right....Texas showed the rest of the Country that we are all neighbors whether you live next door or across the state. Texans poured in to help all those in need. God Bless Texas!

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  33. Oh Susan, I have been so worried for you, David and Bently. My greatest fear was that you were flooded and had to leave your precious home, but thankfully that did not happen. We used to live on Oak Island on the North Carolina coast and experienced many hurricanes and tropical storms. Had to evacuate many times. Because our home was built on stilts we always survived the flooding except for what was washed up onto our yard from both the ocean side and the inland waterway side. Lots of cleanup but lots of planks from decks and piers that my husband used to build some wonderful decks around our home. Looking forward to hearing from you again soon.

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  34. Praise GOD that you got through this HUGE storm of life. Your closing words of this post Let's put
    down the sword and hold our tongues and learn from this tragedy." are Pearls of Wisdom ♡

    May God bless us all.

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  35. So happy to hear from you. I have been thinking about you and wondering if you and yours were safe. Blessings to you and all of Texas. Stay strong.
    Marion

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  36. Hi Susan,

    So glad to read that you, David, and Bentley are okay! I thought about you several times during the week, as I had read your previous post, and I saw online that Victoria County was evacuated. Texans have really shown their can-do spirit during this natural disaster, and I pray that people can recover from their losses. Property can be replaced, but not so people and pets. We have a favorite Tex-Mex restaurant here in town that was doing a fund raiser for Texas, and we contributed this evening when we ate there.

    Take care!

    Denise

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  37. So happy to see your post today Susan! Thought of you, your husband and little Bentley ever since it was headed to Texas. Such devastation and yes hope all remember the pull of love in this time. Now about to see so much more in Irma but strong faith praying it will turn. God bless you all! A daily log reader :) Robin from NYC

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  38. I know that was a scary time, and a week without power is a major trial, I know!


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  39. So glad you survived the storm! I was worried about the flooding since I had no idea where your neighborhood was located. I know parts do flood badly. So glad my prayers were heard.

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  40. Hallo Susan,
    ich bin aus Germany und besuche immer gerne deinen Blog.Wir haben im TV gesehen wie schlimm der Sturm bei Euch ist!! Wir beten zu Gott dass alles wieder gut wird!!!

    Alle gut Wünsche für dich und deine Familie..

    Brititte aus Heidelber/Germani



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  41. If you want your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you have to watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Win your ex back with TEXT messages?

    ReplyDelete

Bentley and I LOVE and read every comment.

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