Hurricane Harvey, Houston flooding and our evacuation story Days 5 thru 10

Harvey Strong family
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Day 5 was the worst. It’s Day 10 and we’re still not sleeping at home. And tomorrow is the first day of school.

But we are ok! Strangely, we are ok. Thank God, we are ok.

Since this is a journal of sorts, I’ll share some photos and stories of days 5 thru 10 after we had to leave our apartment in a Coast Guard boat, due to post-Harvey flooding.

Day 5

My hubby Adam and I had to clean out the garage. I have to admit, up until today, I had hopes that not all was lost. We had shelving and most things were off the ground. I was not expecting this:

That was the first day I really cried. I lost my journals, many photo albums, our wedding scrapbook, … lots of sentimental stuff.

And then I found my daughter’s baby book.

I know other people lost so much more. But even a small loss, when it carries sentimental value, can be grieved.

I’m thankful that our kids were not there. A friend invited them over to play while Adam and I handled the wreckage. Day 5 was tough, but we survived.

Day 6

It’s starting to sink in that we don’t know when our apartment will be liveable again. Hotels in our area are booked. School is starting soon. Lots of decisions need to be made.

But in the meantime, we are checking in with family.

Allyson, my 7 year old daughter, got to speak to grandma & grandpa (Abuela Nayda y Abuelo Willo) in Puerto Rico. I heard her say that getting evacuated was a little sad and a little fun.

Christopher, my 11 year old son, told Abuela Nayda that, since he’s 11, he felt sad, watching the families huddled, waiting for boats to rescue them.

We’ve since continued to ask our kids how are they feeling. We are sharing openly, praying as a family, and checking on friends and loved ones to see how we can help.

It may seem small, but we were finally able to check on my parents and grandma (once flooded roads started to open!) Our friends, the Chicagos, ended up in the same house as my parents, so it was nice to visit and catch up on God stories!

Yes, we’re bummed to have had losses. But the God stories were confirmation and proof that He is truly watching over us.

And we finally found an open Starbucks! It’s the little things.

Day 7

We are still staying with friends. (So thankful to Kasey, Jason and Easton!)

Jason made French toast and eggs. (Yum!)

First day back on the radio. (Finally! Yay! NGEN Radio!)

Back in church. Adam was able to produce the Spanish service. It felt weird and surreal, sitting in the back, watching, when I’m normally leading. But I’m thankful I was able to worship with my kids (we are usually all busy at classes, working or leading on Sundays.) 

Feeling overwhelmed.

Wanting to help my parents, the Chicagos and our family. 

Not finding hotels in Houston and deciding, on a whim, to really evacuate for a few days to Dallas!

My hubby and I both got clearance from work to take a few days off, so we booked a FEMA hotel and drove to Dallas!

Felt a bit guilty, but we needed to clear our heads.

And road trips rock. 

Day 8
  Labor Day 

We decided to disconnect and enjoy life. Found 50% off coupons and went to Legoland! 

We ate yummy pizza at Pie Tap. 

Took the kids to an old favorite hangout, Monster Yogurt. They used to go with my parents when they lived in the Big D.

And Harvey’s still on my mind, so I talked to my friend Jess Chicago’s dad who is a contractor and asked questions about building safety for when we came back.

Day 9 

Drove back from Dallas. Lots on our minds.

Some In N Out Burger made it a little easier! 

But we’re still not sure where we’re going to live. Hoping our apartment is ok.

Adam and I are both working tomorrow and the kids start school in two days. But we are trusting God! It’s all going to be ok.

Day 10 (Today, Wednesday, 9/6/17)

First full day back at work. A little overwhelming, but seems so many are on the same boat.

Then, I find out my son is not feeling well and throwing up. 

Adam books a doctor appointment and we get some medicine, praying he’ll be well enough for the already-delayed 1st day of school tomorrow.

By the evening, and with some blue Gatorade, he feels better (praise God!) 

We get the news that monster Hurricane Irma was NOT a direct hit to my home island of Puerto Rico and my heart is full of gratitude!

So as we head to bed, we are prayerfully ready for the 1st day of school. Kids are tucked in. Lunches are packed. We are blessed.

We may still be sleeping at a friend’s house, and the lunches are in their fridge, not ours, but we are blessed. 

And we are looking forward to tomorrow. #HoustonStrong.


10 thoughts on “Hurricane Harvey, Houston flooding and our evacuation story Days 5 thru 10

  1. My heart just hurts reading this. There’s so much crazy stuff right now and it’s definitely hard with the kiddos going back to school. Continuing to pray that everything will settle down. I’ll send you the information for my realtor friend that may be able to help you find housing too!

    1. Awww! It’s been healing, just sharing my thoughts here on the blog. Thank you for praying and helping! I’ll post an update soon … things are definitely starting to look up!

  2. ❤️❤️❤️I had tears when I saw the sentimental belongings. Praying for restoration ???

    1. Oh, Tomika! Thank you for crying with me. I think that was one of the most healing moments — the guy who was just so moved by the fact that I lost so many journals. The fact that he cared just meant the world. Thank you for those prayers of restoration. They mean the world and I KNOW that is where our strength is coming — from the Lord! <3

  3. Coppelia you guys are awesome. You are truly an inspiration to so many. Thank you for just being you. I know Adam is a strong man of God and I am glad you guys have each other. Keep hope, Coppelia. Things will be better. God will provide for His people. If we can help from the Splendora/
    Cleveland area, please let me know. Take care you guys!

    1. Chester!!!! It’s so great to hear from you! 😀 I totally agree — Adam is a strong man of God indeed! And I’m so blessed to have him! Your words meant a lot to both of us (I just read your message to him!) We’ll let you know for sure if there’s anything. For now, we’re thankful for ALL that God has already done and excited about the doors He’s already opening! I’m kind of excited about this new season!

  4. We are so very sorry about your Harvey journey as well as others. You know we are here for you guys if you need us, so just say the word! Praying for you guys.

    1. Thank you, Marla! We are so grateful to have you and Danny in our lives. We will certainly reach out if something comes up. Right now, we’re trying to figure out if we stay or if we move. Praying for wisdom!

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