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Oak Leaves

September 15, 2017

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From left to right: Salvador Solis, mother of Justin Rivas (pictured right) and Brian Sabido. The three first-years from the Houston area have faced adversity through a time of major transition. 

Photo courtesy of Justin Rivas 

 

Houston Natives at MU Reeling after Record Rainfall 


Wayne Smith 


In the state of Indiana, the annual rate of rainfall is 40 inches (per US Climate Data). 

But a rain gauge in Cedar Bayou, Texas, topped out at 52 inches after Hurricane Harvey made its way through the Gulf of Mexico. 

Southern Texas equaled Indiana’s annual rainfall total in just a four-day span. The Weather Channel suggests that over 183,000 homes have been destroyed by the category 4 storm that made landfall on August 25. 
For many following the news, this a tragic sight to watch unfold, but for MU students and Houston natives like Brian Sabido, Salvador Solis and Justin Rivas, this has been a nightmare.

“My house got over a foot of standing water in the living room; all of the floors will need to be fixed,” Sabido explained. This time last year he went to Westside High, which is less than five minutes south of Interstate Highway 10 on the west side of Houston. All of his family is safe and accounted for, with the only damage coming from the water that flooded his family’s home.

Rivas and Solis are from Houston Heights, closer to the center of Houston, but on the north side. From what these young men explained, the northern portion of the city was relatively safe from the flooding due to its higher ground. But the northern residents faced a different set of issues: supplies. “Grocery stores ran low on products, so prices jumped up way high,” Rivas said. "A handful of items from the store totaled over $100, when the original price would be less than half that amount.” Due to demand for the products, stores had to spike their prices in order to still make a profit, gas prices ran as high as $10 per gallon in certain places.

Jack McCoy, another student from Houston, had a less nightmarish experience, because his home was not stressed until the very end of the torrential rain. “My neighborhood was relatively dry until they had to open up the dam to release water, then it started to flood a little bit,” he said. Because McCoy lives near Buffalo Bayou, where the dam is located, his neighborhood was directly in line with flood waters that would rise after the dam opened. “My home is fine, my family is fine, and there are many other families in Houston that are in much more need than mine, so I am very thankful,” he said. 

One more Manchester student-athlete from Texas just arrived on Sept. 7, because that was the earliest they were allowing flights out of the Houston airport. Cornelius Hawkins also had to evacuate his home. However, in order to leave, his family had to wait for a truck tall enough to push through the high waters of the Houston floods. 

These students’ families are safe and sound, and will recover. With the help of FEMA, they are also expected to receive disaster relief funds as well. Per ABC news, the estimated repair cost to Harvey’s devastation is ranging between $81–180 billion dollars. 

These men all play football for Manchester University. In Manchester’s football program, the team follows the concept of being tough, and being able to fight through adversity. For these young men and their families, the situation caused by Harvey is the epitome of adversity. But they have fought through the hardest times, and the worst is now behind them, as their families look to repair their homes, and fix what Harvey did to their lives.