Hurricane Harvey and the People of Houston
When SERVPRO of South Garland arrived in Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey the word Devastation was in all the headlines and one cannot grasp the severity and gravity of what that word translates to in this case unless you are a Houstonian.
We saw what looked like a post-apocalyptic fallout with huge piles of soaked debris and refuse that lined the neighborhoods outside of homes piling so high that huge stacks were forming up and falling over into new stacks of debris containing ruined carpets, furniture, clothes, electronics, clothes, family heirlooms, original fine art, photographs, trophies, toys and arts and crafts that were made by tiny growing hands that are irreplaceable mementos of their pride and joy. Canals were being formed between the ever growing heavy stacks as a path in and out of the hollow houses. We added to those stacks with garbage bags full of soaked drywall, tile, wood and fiberglass.
The people in Houston and we will never forget the smell that got worse with every day. Their once well-kept treasures were now rotting, filthy, repugnant trash that no value could be brought back to it. A total loss, the years of hard work and effort that it took to attain all of these items were reduced to $0.00 overnight and replaced with a fowl stench.
Everything's tactile surface had been transformed radically by either a slimy film covered on it, or it crumbled in your hands if you tried to grab it, or splinters spiked out of it, or a rusted patina had stained it or green fuzz had grown on top of it.
When I stepped out into the middle of the street, which was occupied by rescue boats a few days prior, I closed my eyes and could hear the sound of demolition crews. The beep beep of huge trucks backing up. The smash, boom, pow of sledgehammers crashing into the ruined drywall. It was a noisy sound of destruction. If we can personify the Hurricane we can most definitely identify with the physical pain associated with the sound involved in ripping and tearing out the guts of these people’s homes. We were most empathetic to the people we came into contact with and expressed that we do not mean any disrespect when clearing out the homes but time plays an important role in the removal and restoration process.
When asked about Houstonians and the Devastation that Hurricane Harvey caused, all of us at SERVPRO of South Garland let people know that the people we came into contact with in Houston are an absolute inspiration. They greeted us with smiles and came together as a community to help one another. Volunteers whose homes were destroyed were traveling up and down streets giving food, water and ice cream to not only the people who lived there but the workers that came from all over the state and country to do this demolition. I saw neighbors gathering together, telling stories, smiling and hugging each other, children playing and laughing together, and there was a gentle spirit in the atmosphere more powerful than any disaster could over power and the greatest strength we have as humans was proven to anyone who witnessed over and over again. The power of Love out shined the devastation that Hurricane Harvey caused, because the great spirit of community that the people of Houston have is building and stronger than ever.