HARVEY: Flooding 'unimaginable,' OOIDA life member says

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | Tuesday, August 29, 2017

If not for the photographs and television footage, Ken Becker doesn’t think he’d believe the extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.

“It’s unimaginable,” said Becker, an OOIDA life member from Montgomery, Texas. “You couldn’t fathom it.”

Becker was still in Oklahoma on Tuesday and is hoping the roads will be safe enough for him to return to Montgomery by this weekend.

The Category 4 hurricane tore through Texas over the weekend, and more than 40 inches of rain have already fallen in Houston. According to multiple reports, at least 15 people in Texas have died and thousands more have been rescued from the flooding. Another foot of rain in Texas and Louisiana is forecast through Friday. The National Weather Service reported that flash flooding is possible this week in southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi.

“Everybody in my family is safe,” Becker said. “Where we live, everything is all right. But there are many others who aren’t that fortunate. I have friends who have had to evacuate their homes in Bay City, Texas.

“Houston is always notorious for heavy rains, but this is twice as bad as a normal bad situation. Some of the roads are washed out. Because of the rain, there is no infrastructure. You can’t drive in, and you can’t drive out.”

For now, all Becker, and thousands of others like him, can do is wait.

“You can’t do anything. I don’t know what I could do about it even if I was at home, but you think that you might be able to help someone.

“I’m going to try to get back home by this weekend and survey the damage,” he said. “I’m trying to keep in close contact with everybody at home.”

For people who want to help, Becker suggested that they donate money to a reputable organization rather than try to go to Texas and help at the moment.

“There’s a vast group of people down there,” he said. “It’s best not to clog it up too much. The best thing someone can do right now is donate money and then wait for the water to go down. Once they get a good game plan, they’ll be asking for a lot of help. It’s going to take a tremendous relief job.”

As far as a reputable place to donate money, the American Red Cross has set up a text line for donations, as well as a way to donate online.

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