The Egalitarian

Houston Flood 2016

Jimmieka Mills, News Editor

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Historic flooding consumed Houston and surrounding areas early Monday morning. So far, there have been 8 deaths attributed to the floods.

The images on TV have dredged up memories of the Memorial Day floods that happened less than a year ago. However, for most victims in the Greenspoint and other areas North of Downtown, the disaster felt like a memory of the not too distant past.

“It was like Katrina all over again,” say Chrystal Jackson, a Greenspoint resident and community responder who moved to Houston following hurricane Katrina.

Many residents in the Greenspoint area have been there since Katrina through vouchers given to displaced hurricane victims.

“I can remember feeling so much love from the community. Houston welcomed us, invited us to make this our home,” recalls Jackson. That home is now lost as Jackson and her family will be residing at the M.O. Campbell shelter in the Aldine area until she can find stable housing.

If you’ve been watching the news the past 72 hours, you’ve seen heroic rescues by news reporters, people clinging to boats, clad in orange life vests surrounded by disaster relief personnel—in Cypress.

The images of residents in the Greenspoint and other areas of low income produce a completely different view.

“We had to grab whatever we could float on and try to make it to higher ground,” says Althea Campbell, also a Greenspoint area resident. “There still has been no government help, we are doing what we can to help each other.”

First responders were local residents who had either seen the devastation or had been themselves impacted.

In an attempt to calm residents’ concerns about the rendering of aide or lack thereof, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner stated in a press conference held Monday, “If anyone feels as though the city did not get to them timely, it’s not because people don’t care, but today presented many challenges on many different fronts, all over the city.”

Many residents who have been displaced feel the exact opposite.

“Me and my cousin called 9-1-1 multiple times and got no help,” states Jackson, which is why she began to render aide herself.

Many residents report seeing emergency vehicles, but being turned away because they were not “rescue vehicles.”

“We are pissed off. How is an ambulance not a rescue vehicle, but an air mattress is?” questions Joseph Alejo, who drove through flood waters after seeing the devastation on TV.

Although Mayor Turner says a command center was set up in the Greenspoint area at 3:59 am on Monday morning and that personnel had been working in the area for hours, as late as 4 pm victims were still left without help.

“When we were finally able to get out we saw them in tactical gear, in a huddle at the [Greenspoint] mall,” says Alejo.

“My heart hurts for all Houstonians,” says Loretta Helms, an early childhood educator displaced after Katrina. “We came here after a major disaster and we’re welcomed. But to see how Houston has treated some of its most vulnerable residents is disheartening.”

“Do not think the city is not seeing you,” Turner says, addressing Greenspoint residents in statements covered live by local TV news stations.

To this Campbell says, “We know you see us, the whole world is watching. Our question is what are you gonna do about it?”

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About the Contributors
Jimmieka Mills, Editor In Chief

You can reach her at jmills@hccegalitarian.com

Jimmieka was born and raised in California's San Francisco Bay Area. She relocated to Houston in 2007...

Thomas Hopkins, Photo Editor

You can reach him at thopkins@hccegalitarian.com

Follow him online and on Twitter @tomhopkinsphoto

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Houston Flood 2016