Harvey is wreaking unprecedented havoc across the state of Texas. The Houston area is especially getting hit hard right now, including exactly where I live. This is the worst natural disaster I’ve ever experienced by far, and I thought I’d share what’s going on from the heart of the storm.
Last night, we experienced torrential downpour for hours upon hours throughout the night. It was also probably the most intense lightning display I’ve experienced in a very long time (if not ever in my life). Our apartment stayed lit up by lightning flashes for hours and several lightning strikes landed right outside with insane thunder. Tornado warning alarms and notifications sounded off about every 15 minutes (over 100 have ben issued) and our area has received over 20 inches of rain since the storm landed. That’s more than half the annual rainfall that we’ve received in many years.
I saw huge national guard trucks roaming through the parking lot last night and picking people up who lived on the first levels and I could see roads flooded up to extremely high levels (think up to stop lights). I’ve seen a number of these scenes play out on the news as well.
I’m located in one of the worst hit areas around Houston and I’ve seen photos in my social media feeds with flood water levels coming up just a foot or so below the second-story balconies of apartments, just mere minutes from our place. We are located on a top floor at our apartment so flooding is not really a direct threat to us but several vehicles were flooded below us, including our Jeep, which was likely totaled due to the flooding.
Several people I know have had water enter their homes and have been relocated or are in the process of being evacuated by the Coast Guard/National Guard/etc. Several hospitals are being evacuated in Houston, too. For those living near bodies of water, such as rivers and bayous, they are in great danger of catastrophic flooding right now and in the days coming. The general consensus for people who have been living in this region for decades is that they’ve never seen anything quite like this before. It is truly scary.
The bands of storms that are hitting us right now are lessening to a degree but they are still capable of producing high levels of rain and even tornadoes. In fact, we’re currently under a tornado warning right now (along wth around 5 other areas around Houston). We are also getting pounded by rain and I can see water levels on the rise once again. Thankfully, we have not lost power for any significant stretch of time and our apartments have tremendous draining capabilities so the high water levels are being managed quite well.
This is an extremely tense situation for everyone along the coast of Texas. And while I feel relatively safe from these flash floods that are wreaking havoc in many places, I’m extremely worried about friends and family and hoping for the best for them. There’s going to be tons of property damage but obviously the highest priority is the safety of everybody in these locations.
Cover Photo Geof Hauger
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.