When three storms converged over our city, we had no idea the destruction they would leave behind. We had not seen anything like this since Hurricane Allison, and this was just a massive thunderstorm. The lightening and thunder put on a show for hours on end and the rain poured buckets; stranding motorists in their cars and trapping people inside their homes and Reliant Stadium. We were all glued to the TV as it showed the waters rising until the bayous, one by one, swept over their banks and onto the streets making them impassible and turning them into lakes. This is now known as the Houston Floods.
The Houston Floods: Devastation to the Houston Jewish Communities
If you have lived in Houston, and most especially in the Meyerland and Bellaire areas of town, you know that they are prone to flooding, but this was unprecedented. The pictures of the Houston Floods that were all over the news and social media of North and South Braeswood showed a lake. You couldn’t tell where the streets began and sidewalks ended. We worried for our neighbors, our friends, our family and our Houston Jewish community that resides there.
Social media is a saving grace during times of crisis. Status updates and pictures showed homes that were filled with water and people talking about the ordeal that they were going through. Some were stuck in their cars all night, waiting out the storm in parking lots, while others were watching the water flow through windows and doors and praying for the rain to just end. But, all were tweeting and facebooking with hashtags to let us know what was happening and if they were safe.
Noah’s Ark Didn’t Show, The Houston Jewish Community Did
When the storm passed and the water started to drain away the damage was assessed and it wasn’t a pretty site. People lost their cars and their belongings in their homes. They had no power and could not stay in their homes anymore. They had to figure out how to clean up, take care of children, take care of pets and take care of themselves, and this is where our fabulous Houston Jewish community stepped up to the plate and whey we love our #vibingcommunity.
- The Jewish Federation of Houston has started a Houston Flood Relief Fund. Click here to donate.
- Paul Silverman, a realtor with Martha Turner, put out a call to action of Facebook to help out a Houston family that moved here 9 months ago and lost everything. He also knows of a charity that is accepting donations. To reach out to Paul, you can connect with him on Facebook.
- Bernard Sam Silverman donated his freezer to Harry Brown. Big thanks to the mitzvah men Zach Katz and Jonathan Gross for helping.
- Some #VibingKids! Matt Speer and friends gathered supplies yesterday to take around to those in need in the neighborhood.
- In the UOS Community, a canoe went around to rescue those stuck in homes, including Rabbi Radinsky and they were offered places to stay and meals to eat.
- And then there were those that are in the Houston Jewish Community who have just done so much by taking in the ones who lost their homes, providing meals and helping with the clean up.
We LOVE our #vibinghoustonjewishcommunity!!
The Houston Community Showed Up Too
It wasn’t just the Houston Jewish Community that has showed up though. HEB donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund for Houston, while Norman Faust, the manager at Taste of Texas, saved an older woman from her car by wading into the rising water when he saw a car that was in trouble, risking his own life. In lieu of a big grand opening party Vargos on the Lake Apartment Homes and Townhouses was supposed to have tomorrow, they’ll be donating $10 to Red Cross for each individual that comes and see its new property at its open houses this weekend. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
We love that the Houston Jewish Community and the Houston Community have come together to be one big #vibingcommunity. There are still so many ways you can help! Just check out any of the social media outlets, ask your neighbor or friend or make a donation. Remember, #kindnessmatters.