Update and an idea.
I am very thankful that I have stayed dry during this storm. So many have not. I have a bit of survivors remorse. Everyone wants to help everywhere and I, like others, am trying to figure out where I can be of most use, and still not compromise my recovery from bronchitis.

One thing i am good at is organization, communication, creative ideas and bringing people together so I am trying to figure out how to use those talents in a small way to help with recovery.

Streets within my area are passable. Some highways are opening up. There are two things that are on my heart. The relocation of individuals in the GRB or NRG is not something that the City of Houston can handle on their own. There are just too many people.Two days ago I posted on neighborhood forums I have neighbors who have said they would open their homes and I have three bedrooms vacant here. I have warned everyone they do this at their own liability. I can only pray that God leads me to the right people.

I know family and friends- for some this action may sound like a dangerous thing to do, but I can’t just leave my rooms vacant when I watch mom and babies sitting on floors in the GRB. There are not enough showers there. As always there are a mix of people and some have expressed their concerns that their kids see such things. My thought is to try and get help to put my van seats in,( ANYONE NEARBY THAT CAN HELP?) I’ll go down there, and see what I can see and if this will work. Yesterday I posted on Sherry Williams KHOU facebook page. She interviewed my about the Alice project. I thought since she is at the George R Brown, she might be able to give some advice or suggestion in making this work. But I’m sure they are very busy. Maybe with prayer and direction I can find some people who can either be relocated to something more comfortable in our homes in Garden Oaks – Houston Oak Forest Homeowners Association or create a shuttle service with volunteers that might possibly be able to reunite these people with loved ones who are high and dry. What that looks like in my head is- I meet someone they say they have reports that their family in wherever is fine. They have no car, clothes or resources to get there. I can either take them or shuttle them to a place where individual volunteers can relocate them. This works in my head. If you are a praying person, please pray that the path before me be opened up. Meanwhile, I think I need to drop off my wet dry shop vac and fans to someone who might need them in the hood.

Also, if you have any insights or suggestion or want to volunteer in anyway with this crazy plan let me know. I may also need some another car seat or little baby carrier seat, be sure it is marked with your name and phone number so I can get it back to you. I have one child’s seat now. If we create a shuttle system then others may need it as well.

Please don’t judge the people and authorities of Texas and Houston. I am in this, and I have great respect for their actions. There are reasons for their choices. Reasons that many people, not living in the south, will ever understand.

I have heard people say, Why didn’t they evacuate? First, let me explain. Hurricanes are unpredictable. There is no way to tell which way they will go. Many factors made this bad.

1. STALED STORM Pressure from the north and west held Harvey over Texas. Houston was on the dirty side or the east side of the storm. This means rain, wind, tornadoes and a ton of things just like we experienced.

2. HARVEY WANTS TO MAKE ANOTHER ENTRANCE Harvey is pushing back out into the gulf and walking. He is literally, walking and not moving. He is pushing up moisture from the Gulf like a mean big brother on the beach testing our patience. We are still on the dirty side. More rain. If he comes to our East, we will be in much better shape. At this writing, he is not. No one is talking about the possibility that Harvey, as a storm in the Gulf. It could push water back up the bay and into already flooded areas. That is what hurricanes do; they push water up into areas along the coast. I’m sure no one wants to look at that scenario. We have so much to consider at hand.

3. OUR INFRASTRUCTURE
First, note that Houston is only 80 feet above sea level. Low altitude is why my head spins when I go almost anywhere. Houston area consists of a series of creeks and bayous reservoirs and lakes that hold back water and help water to flow. Some are released when at capacity. When working properly, these do work. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes people flood. Down river, people flood. I don’t know how they can live in such areas knowing this can happen, but they do. Some Houston streets flood during heavy rain and we all have it drilled into our heads “Turn around Don’t Drown.” We watch that. I know how easy it is to misjudge water. I was out the other night and could not see a thing. It was terrifying. Being born in Buffalo, NY, I have lived in snowstorms. You can put snow somewhere. You can’t do much with water. It runs, it erodes, and it can destroy very fast.

Everything flows from north and west of Houston through Houston or around in the case of some creeks, to Galveston Bay. I recently posted a map and a post about the bayous. The amount of rain Houston has had can not be blamed on anyone. We usually receive around 49.77 inches of rain in Houston a year. A little known tropical storm called Alison in 2001 might compare. It happened three months before 9/11, and we were forgotten down here. It was just a tropical storm, but once again, it brought a lot of rain rather quickly. According to wiki “The six-day rainfall in Houston amounted to 38.6 inches (980 mm). The deluge of rainfall flooded 95,000 automobiles and 73,000 houses throughout Harris County. Tropical Storm Allison destroyed 2,744 homes, leaving 30,000 homeless with residential damages totaling to $1.76 billion (2001 USD, $2.29 billion 2012 USD).” As I said, Harvey’s rainfall will exceed that, in just a few days. The stats will exceed that. The service core of engineers has never experienced this. No one has. They are calling it a once in an 800-year flood. What the heck does that mean?

The only thing I can frown at is whoever is responsible in the City of Houston who continues to allow so many new buildings in Houston with less green space. New buildings leave less room for water to be absorbed. I would love to rant about the city preventing new construction or demanding green space, but there is no reason to look at this now. For right now, a large amount of water has to get to the bay. It has to go somewhere.

4. EVACUATION
We have learned from the many storms that there is a way to evacuate. The process is that the lower lying areas or those that are first in harm’s way must be the priority. If everyone from Houston got on the freeways and evacuated, then those in real trouble could not get out. An example was the horrific Hurrican Rita evacuation in 2005. Rita was just weeks after Katrina. And Rita was going to be stronger than Katrina. We were all a little shell shocked down here. During Hurricane Rita, people panicked and according to Wiki “An estimated 2.5 – 3.7 million people fled before Rita’s landfall, making it one of the largest evacuations in United States’ history.”

I was here. I stayed. Here is what happened. It was wall to wall cars. No one could move. It was hot, and gas ran out in the cars on the road. No one could get gas in to help the stranded. I fielded phone calls from friends who were caught in traffic for hours. Many finally turned around, but that was impossible because the city then opened the southbound to go north. It was excruciatingly hot and dangerous. I see the reports say that 90-118 people died even before the storm. A bus of elderly started on fire, and all were killed. These same roads and feeder roads that people traveled on are now under water in this storm. Evacuation of so many people is impossible. And, remember no one could understand how the other factors would play in this storm. The weather men do an excellent job of predicting, but they can’t be sure. People prepared the best they could. Some did bug out.

Some people are new to the Houston area and don’t realize how sensitive things can be or how drastic they can be. People also become complacent. There are people here who are in their 20 and 30’s who can’t say or know what it is like to go through this as an adult. They can’t say, well I remember Rita, or Ike, Carla or Allison.
I have lived in this house for 35 years. I have been through Alicia, in 83, Allison in 2001, Rita in 2005, Ike 2008, and Harvey in 2017. I have never seen this. Though Allison was similar, as far as flooding, Harvey will put Allison to shame.

As of this writing, it is not over. Some things can happen that can make this even worse. These would be; more rain, high winds or structure failures anywhere along the water areas. If something blocks the waters, then things back up upstream. Plus the ground is so saturated; this is the time that trees uproot. I mentioned the water that could be pushed up the bay if Harvey hangs around. I can’t even think of that.

I’m proud of how those in authority handled and are handling things, and I’m here. I can tell you now, after living through Allison, Houston has a long row to hoe, and at this writing, until mean big brother Harvey decides to quit picking on us and go away, we won’t know how bad things will be. We will recover because Houston is stronger than Harvey, but one thing is sure, in my book, this is no one’s fault.

Mad Hatter Bridgette Mongeon and the Utah Tea pot?

An homage to a man. One of the 150 hidden things is in plain site.

I have said time and time again. In my studio, Alice and her friends have gotten bigger and smaller, not with elixirs and mushrooms but with technology. I have had a foot in the digital world and another foot in the fine art field. I have created a niche for myself with my book 3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting, and Milling. When creating the monumental sculpture of Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter Tea party for Evelyn’s Park in Bellaire, Texas, how could I not pay a tribute to the man who started the technology?  After all, it all started with this and it should be at the famous tea party. So as one of the 150 hidden things that I put in this sculpture in honor of the 150th anniversary of the story, I have added a special one for us tech guys. Do you see it?

Oh and don’t forget the riddle. I’m trying my hand at riddles for many of the hidden object.

Tech marries clay in Wonderland,
The Hatter steps in and lends a hand.
Not from Texas but Utah it came.
Not victorian but rather plain.
Because Sandra and Martin liked their tea,
an homage to a man you now do see.