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Hurricane Harvey leaves its mark

Evacuations on the southeast side of Houston. PHOTO/SUPPLIED


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Water as far as the eye can see is how one woman has described the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in the city of Houston.

Lynette Sawyer, niece of former Wairarapa Midweek editor Ken Garmonsway, has been living in Houston for the past nine years.

In that time she had never seen anything like the events that unfolded in recent days as the hurricane battered the city.

“The only thing possibly comparable was right at the time that Hurricane Ike hit Houston in 2008 — that was when I was in the process of moving here from California,” Mrs Sawyer said.

“That was bad, but it was a very different situation.”

While Hurricane Ike had brought down trees and smashed building windows with strong winds, this time it was the amount of rain that was causing the problems, she said.

“It’s just been water as far as the eye can see . . . it’s really just the most incredible amount of rain.”

Mrs Sawyer’s property had water right up to their garage, and were fortunate it didn’t make its way into their house.

Other areas were not so lucky.

“We’re very lucky because it came back up the other side of Houston and dumped about another 25 inches 90 miles east of us.

“My office is in an area called The Galleria, and we can’t get in there because the basement is full of about 10 feet of water.”

A trip to the supermarket was a stark reminder of how dire the situation was, as most shops had run out of eggs, milk and bread, and were only letting a few people in at a time.

Mrs Sawyer was forced to bake her own bread, but said there were others who were in a far worse situation.

“We didn’t lose power, internet or cable TV.

“I think a lot of people probably did and I suspect very strongly the areas close to downtown haven’t fared quite as well.”

When the storm first hit the city residents were constantly alerted with tornado warnings as well as flash flood warnings, making for a nerve-racking few days.

Despite the rain finally letting up on Tuesday evening (Wednesday NZT), Mrs Sawyer said it would be weeks before the flooding disappeared.

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