It’s Just Stuff……

Wedding rings found after the flood.

As a displaced Texans, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, we are reminded every day of “things” that were lost in the waters that enveloped our home.

First and foremost, my children are homeless. Maybe I should instead say that they are without a house. We have a home. It’s an RV that some friends generously are allowing us to borrow to live in while we try and rebuild our home. (more…)

A Day of Rest and Successful Getaway

Evacuee roadtrip to Dallas.It’s 1030 Sunday morning and we’re on I-45 north to Saginaw, TX.  Amber is currently driving.

After the misadventure of Friday evening, we started trying to think of another plan for getting off the “island” of Beaumont.  The family slept in, but I got up with no alarm at o’ dark thirty as I’ve been doing so for the past week — regardless of what time I went to bed.  I was surprised to find that we had a trickle of water from the tap again, but not enough pressure to put any water in the toilet flush tanks.  This new day was starting again as the past two with the now routine task of going out to the swimming pool for another bucketful of water.  I wonder what folks in Beaumont did who were not as fortunate as us to have a clean pool to draw water from?  We were fortunate indeed!

Once Deverie and the kids got up, we began contemplating our new course of action.  We decided that Jake and I would take one of the military C-130 evacuation flights out of Beaumont to DFW, and then Jake and I would fly to Salt Lake City to pick up the Rotramel’s motor home.  But then we thought of needing to drive my sister Sonia’s car back to Beaumont, and that Jake could drive it back while Jon Wood and I could go up to Utah to team-drive the RV back to Texas.  Jon and Christine Wood are good Air Force friends of ours from our days together at Dyess AFB back in the early days of OEF and OIF.  We knew them through our church family of New Hope Church in Abilene, Texas. (more…)

Medical Emergency on Highway 90

HEB trucks making their way into Beaumont, TX after Hurricane Harvey This blog is about yesterday, 1 Sep 2017.  So this is my second blog post – never in a million years would I have ever imagined saying or typing that!  Friday morning for me started at 0400 when I awoke – I thought I had heard the sound of water… really!  I used the bathroom just outside Emily’s room and refilled the flush tank with a bucket of water from the pool for the next user.  It was a little weird to have been back in “civilization” now for 2 nights but having no running water.  I took my second outdoor shower of the week.  I then made some coffee and took a look at my phone at the many texts, voicemails and missed calls I had yet to respond to.  I had just told my brother, Robert, the night before my story, and it was the first time I had revealed it to anyone other than my wife and kids – and I have yet to talk to my brother, Edgar, or my sister, Veronica.  I decided to reply to the first text I came to and started typing one to my Civil Air Patrol squadron.  Well, the text started getting longer and longer, and so I switched to my laptop and just figured I could transfer it to text afterward.  When Deverie came and found me out on the Young’s back porch typing away, she suggested I publish a blog post on her website.  I scoffed at first, but then warmed to the idea.  Hence, my story yesterday.

As soon as I finished, a little before noon, my son and I went on a search-and-purchase expedition for anything that could function as a cargo carrier for the roof of our GMC Yukon, the only vehicle we had that survived the flood and which had been the family’s escape vehicle on Monday.  We were planning to head up to Saginaw, Texas, just north of Fort Worth, to stay with my sister, Sonia, for a few days and then on up to my brothers in Tulsa and Bartlesville, OK.  Our eventual destination was going to Utah, where our dear Air Force friends, Todd & Teresa Rotramel, have their motor home waiting for us to drive down to Texas and use as a temporary home during our rebuild.  Todd is currently deployed, or he would’ve already driven it down here himself, I’m sure.  The outpouring of tangible support from our friends, family, and complete strangers is so overwhelming, I could not possibly address that in many posts — although I will try to in future ones.  But I will say it has brought tears to my eyes many times this week. (more…)

My 50 Hours With Harvey

Beautiful sunny day before Hurricane Harvey.

Dear Family & Friends, this is Jerry Gallegos. We lost our house despite it being situated on some of the highest ground in Bevil Oaks and supposedly NOT being in a “flood zone” (my wife and I asked when we bought the house 2 years ago).

The family left on Monday for town (Beaumont) during the mandatory evacuation. I stayed behind to take care of our pets and try to save our stuff – IF needed (at the time the predictions were that the high water level would be 2 ft below the record flood of 1994, during which I surprisingly found out that morning that our house had indeed flooded about 9″ according to our neighbor, Debbie). But I awoke Tues morn at 0500 to find the water literally at my doorstep.

Needless to say, I immediately went into overdrive & started with the stuff on the floor & bottom drawers & moving them up a level at a time. Throughout the day, I checked in with my wife (and no one else as I regrettably had to tell my Dad in just a few seconds that I didn’t have time to talk with him) and would at the same time check the National Weather Service’s online Pine Island Bayou automated flood gauge and projected flood crest predictions every couple hours to determine how high I needed to keep moving stuff up.

I cut the power to the house sometime before 0900 when the water started lapping at the bottom of the outlets – I didn’t want to electrocute myself or the dogs! BTW, until it got higher, the dogs thought it was fun to have an indoor swimming pool! The cats hated it, of course 🙂 However, when I went upstairs, I found that my daughter Ashley’s room still had power! Obviously, the wiring in this house is suspect as I had already cut the main power switch… But I took advantage of the situation and plugged my Ohmstede company iPhone in her room & thought this will be great! – I’ll ride out the flood with my pets watching Netflix movies and Amazon Prime 🙂 But it was not to be… :\


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