Photo caption: Hurricane Harvey Flooding and Damage Image attribution: By Jill Carlson (jillcarlson.org) from Roman Forest, Texas, USA (Hurricane Harvey Flooding and Damage) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Morgan Chassidy Knotts
I had always heard that Houston was called a giant soup bowl because of all the bayous we have here. Last year, we experienced Hurricane Harvey and the capacity of the city was put to the test. We’ve all seen the televised images of the entire city under water. The damage caused by the storm was so great, only a small percentage of the population wasn’t affected in some way. Since that time, Houstonians have experienced a movement, becoming #StrongerTogether and have represented that #HoustonStrong spirit to the world! We have always tried to be an example of helping our neighbors in their time of need, but the challenge now is, rising to the test when we ourselves are the ones that are in need. As I look over the landscape of the city, I see diverse unity. Although each of us who has been affected are dealing with our personal trauma, we still find ways to comfort each other along the way.
Many citizens who were affected by Harvey were still in the process of recovering from the “Tax Day” flood and “Memorial Day” flood of 2016, that devastated a large part of the Houston community. Just when we thought the loss of memories, valuables, and family heirlooms were over, we lost the few things that remained during Hurricane Harvey. As I begin to rebuild my home today, just as I was starting to rebuild during Harvey because of the 2016 floods, I am still extremely thankful. The spirit of the people is what keeps Houston alive! The loss of a lifetime of worldly possessions is not capable of breaking the spirit of this great city.
City officials have been continuously working to help as many of our citizens as possible. Not only has the city stepped up, but there have been great strides in charity within our communities and the countless donations made by the private business sector have helped to support the city. We see companies donating time, effort and resources to help support those in need. There is a small percent who have chosen to capitalize on the misfortune of others. We see examples of this shown through the increase in landfill pricing to dump trash, the increase of gas pricing during our time of need, or even commercializing donations to recovery efforts for profitable gain. These things pale in comparison to the good this event has brought out of this nation. We have had worldwide recovery support and we are thankful to be recipients of the love shown by so many who care for the success of Houston.
The faith community is still hosting mission outreach programs, clothing drives, and providing food pantries to some of the hardest hit areas of the city. The overall spirit of the city feels like healing. As we start to recover from this trauma, we keep in mind our brothers and sisters that are still living in homes with moldy conditions who may not receive any assistance. There are some who lost everything they had, including their homes. There are some who will have to accept a property buy out because the damage is too great to begin again. Then there are some of us who will return home, only to find that after surviving many of life’s previous storms, that things may never be as before.
As we reflect on how far the city of Houston has come this past year, let’s all do our part to continue to help each other through the recovery process. You never know how effective you can be to help those who are still in need. It has taken a village of contractors, volunteers, and spiritual advisers to help carry me through this time. An invaluable resource that has provided the greatest help to my family is the Rebuilding Houston Together Program. If there are any elderly or disabled homeowners still experiencing difficulties since Hurricane Harvey, they may qualify to have repairs to their homes sponsored by the City of Houston through the Rebuilding Together Houston Program.
About the Author
Morgan Chassidy Knotts of Houston, TX grew up in the Acres Homes community enjoying all genres of music. Beginning during her early childhood until her adolescent years she performed in her church and school choirs. After spending time pursuing other collegiate and career options she was led back to her first loves, writing and music. Although it had been several years since she had really been disciplined with her craft, she never lost her love for writing or music. When she began to pursue writing for her music career again, the process was longer and proven to be much tougher than she remembered, but her love of music would not let opposition win.