Waterfall into rising lake             Hope House underwater              The beginning of 3 inches in house
 
  
Rising waters on Grace House     Flood waters over driveway          Mule headed to high ground
 
  
Garden underwater                       Driveway flood relief in sight       God Bless Texas Strong
  
More Pictures to come. Fallow us on facebook. 

STATUS UPDATE

31 August, 2017

Fallout from Hurricane Harvey and its effect on Eagles Lift Ministries

We have had numerous phone calls, emails, texts, Facebook entries, the list goes on and on as to the situation here at Eagles Lift in light of the never before seen rain water downpour out of Hurricane / Tropical Storm Harvey. First of all, we would like to inform you all that everyone made it through the storm safely. Secondly, we do want to thank you for all of the various forms of outreach that you have given to us. We wanted to go through the chain of events related to the storm so as to try and answer some of the many questions that you may have and of which others have had already.

 

The best place to start is at the beginning. Several weeks before the hurricane even developed, Lynn had something develop in her spirit that kept tugging at her to get ready for a hurricane. This is one of those unexplainable situations for many and for others it is perfectly clear as to what was going on. To be quite honest, our hired hand German, may have even thought that Miss Lynn was starting to lose her marbles. At any rate, the effort to cut limbs back from the houses, get things put up higher off the floors in the lower areas, and securing things that could get blown around had begun well in advance.

The week before the hurricane developed, it was nothing but a simple little tropical depression with no clear direction as to where it was going. Indications were that it would hit landfall around the Texas – Mexican border. OK. Meanwhile, Steve who has been working in Malaysia since October was making preparations for his third trip home to see Lynn and the family. Steve was already getting alerts as to the possible effects of the tropical depression and his ability to land in Houston on Friday evening 25 August, 2017. But all went well getting in to Houston for a nice restful stay with Lynn and family. The storm was still tracking down south and we were feeling like our risk level was greatly decreased in relation to a direct hit similar to the one we experienced with Hurricane Ike on 13 Sept 2008, one month after we had bought the property. By now 3 cancer patients with their caregivers had their treatments in limbo by MD Anderson and decided to put their reservation on hold with us. We decided to bring in some family from Friendswood who were concerned about flooding and had moved into one of the units at Eagles Lift just in case it did come this way, we will call them Steve, Amy and Family.

On Saturday, 26 August, day one of the event, we found it odd that even though “the forecasters” had upgraded the tropical depression to a Cat 1 Hurricane and predicted landfall would be down near Corpus Christie, TX, yet they were still forecasting that we “may” get up to 20” to 30” of rain. Now up north that much in snow is huge but when you talk about rain water it is nearly unbelievable. So we were leaning towards “this is unbelievable” side of the thought process. At this point in time we thought we would be getting some rain and we would deal with it. As the day went on the rains began to come in very large and long bands that went perfectly over our area. These were heavy rains that did not let up for very long periods of time. But still, we thought the eye was near Corpus Christie and we are a long way from there. Our thoughts and prayers do go out to all of those that were near the landing point of Hurricane Harvey and trust that you will be back on your feet as soon as possible. So by midnight Saturday, Steve was out with a rake, a one armed rain jacket and rubber boots raking the trash out of the drainage grates on Cullen Blvd. so the property would not flood and it was working. The thunder, lightning and torrential rains went on none stop throughout the night.

 

On Sunday, 27 August, we got up early and there was water everywhere. We had about 4” of water in the car port area which equates to the fact that at this point in time 50% of the 20 acres was covered in water. So Steve thought he would don his one armed rain jacket and brave the rains and clear the two 3’ by 3’ grates so that they could drain better. Well, no problem on clearing the grates. There were 3’ by 3’ columns of water shooting up 1.5 feet out of the grates and doing a major job of flooding our property. Now, Steve being the gumshoe that he is decided to see where is all of this water going. For those of you who have visited Eagles Lift you should be able to get a visual of this. The water was shooting up and filling up the property on the left side of the drive way when driving in, flowing over the driveway to the right side (heading south toward Christina Adair Park) and continued flowing in that direction. The second 3’ by 3’ grate is also in that direction and there was water also shooting out of that grate 1.5 feet up in the air which formed a river of sorts. But where was all of this water going? Following the water, it travels to the south side of our property to the Park and then went East along the park road into, you guessed it, our sand pit. (which we sold in March – thank you Jesus). The water had collected from several sources and formed a creek or small river 20’ wide and 2 and 3’ deep and was flowing into the sand pit forming some rapids that could be heard from all around. The sand pit was 20 acres and 50’ deep or about 1000 Acre Feet. Now we had backfilled some of the pit already, so we had a hole in the ground that equated to 1,000,000 cubic yards or say around 100,000 dump truck loads. Or in other words, it was a very big hole in the ground. This was our saving grace for not getting flooded out on Sunday. The rains continued throughout the day, as we continued to move things around continually shifting the vehicles around to keep them towards high ground which is a challenge when you are in flatland territory. By now though, Steve and Amy (in Hope House) received word that their home had been flooded up to the roof. They had lost everything that they owned except for the few things that they brought with them to Eagles Lift but their lives were saved. To continue to make matters worse, the downstairs unit in Hope house, where they were staying, had water coming into it as well, so we needed them to move to the upstairs unit of Hope House while the downstairs until continued to take on water. We raised as much furniture as possible off the floor in hopes of reducing the water damage.

 

On Monday, 28 August, we awoke to find the water level had risen another foot and it was now a foot deep in Hope house and rising. The rain was unrelenting all day long with only brief spells where it only sprinkled. We had done all we could do and now it was time to wait it out. The thought was that the rain would have to quit sometime soon as it cannot rain forever. But alas the Hurricane had moved back into the Gulf and was moving only 3 miles per hour (rule of thumb – divide 100 by the speed of the hurricane eye (3mph) to get the potential rain fall from the hurricane = 33”) toward Houston and the forecast for the rain just kept getting higher and higher. We had locally received 20” of rain by now. Upon surveying the property, we had noticed the water flow had now changed drastically. Instead of the water flowing to the south like it had originally been doing, it was now a river flowing straight into the property knee deep right down the drive way, flowing around the main house, past the garage, past Hope House, past Grace House and towards Faith House. Now instead of flowing into the sand pit it was just flowing into a huge lake as the sand pit had filled up with water in less than 24 hours. Now we were getting more concerned about our cancer recipients that we had in Grace House and Faith House. In Grace House we had, lets call them Bob and Nan. Bob has advanced stage of cancer and was in need of platelets and a blood transfusion. At this point in time even our higher pickup truck could not get through the water. We called our son in law David which has been working with the disaster relief who has a higher truck who was able to navigate to the property and pick up Bob and Nan and get them to the hospital for the required treatment. This ride would normally take 10 minutes to get to the local hospital 2 miles away in Pearland but with the water it took over an hour to get there and there was no getting back with the water continuing to rise. A true miracle of God they made it. It was not easy for them, but many miracles developed for them that saved his life. Bob and Nan ended up staying in the hospital lobby Monday night. We felt that even though they were in the hospital lobby they were safe which could have been questionable if they were in Grace House as we were truly wondering, “When is the rain going to stop.” That only left our only other cancer recipient who we will call Hank living in the downstairs unit of Faith house was on the highest ground on the property. By nightfall the water had risen another 6 inches. The water was now 4 inches deep in the main house (our home) in the sun room which is at ground level versus the rest of the house which is two steps up from there and the water was within 1 inch of going into Faith House where Hank and Abby (our Dorky -1/2 Dachshund and ½ Yorkie that Hank is caring for). Hank was already making preparations to move to the upstairs efficiency of Faith House. Casa German succumbed to the flood and took on several inches so German was moved upstairs of Faith House. When we went to sleep on Monday night we did not have any idea what we were going to find in the morning as the rain continued on and off again all night and forecaster were predicting anywhere from 12” to 18” more rain to come.

On Tuesday, 29 Aug we awoke to find another miracle, the water level nearly at the same point that it was when we went to sleep on Monday night. We only had off and on again lighter showers and by mid-morning the water started going down a fraction of an inch per hour, while rain still fell, another Miracle. Hank called and said that the water had risen to within a fraction of an inch of going into Faith House but it did not make it in and had started receding, another miracle. Thank you Jesus. By this time we had received between 29 and 34 inches of rain, as we are in between the two official Harris County rain gages. We were still in very deep water though. The water was still a flowing river down the drive way towards the main house and flowing around the various other houses. The water reached 18 inches in Hope House and was still there as well. By the end of the day the water did come down about 4 inches so we thought we would see about getting out of the property and possibly retrieve Bob and Nan. We managed to get off the property but were not able to make it any further than a block and a half each way so we were still stranded. Bob and Nan were able to make it over to a local hotel and get a room. So they were safe and sound. Hank and Abby were safe and sound as well. The water was nearly out of the Sun Room. We discovered large 2 ft. fish, gar and carp, swimming up the driveway during a walk with water up to our knees. One of the best things was that the rains were starting to ease up and Harvey was making its way past Houston. There was an end in sight. We were still up to our knees in water all around the property but there was an end in sight.

On Wednesday, 30 Aug we awoke to find the water had subsided another 10 inches so things were starting to look up. The water was out of the Sun Room in the Main House, the water was just barely out of the Hope House. The water was still flowing down the driveway but it was not nearly as deep which was a good thing. We were able to start moving the soaked furniture out of Hope House and get the dry out process started as soon as we could. By the end of the day we had finished the cleanup and was down out of Hope House, fired up the Air Conditioner (it still worked – thank you Jesus) cleaned up and fired up the refrigerator-thank you Jesus, started a load in the washing machine that still worked-thank you Jesus, (dryer lost to the flood-oh well) and started assembling a list of items needed for the renovations. We were also able to get Casa German cleaned and dried out as well. So we were able to get done everything that we could get done considering it was still very difficult to get out. Bob and Nan were still holding in the hotel and wanted to see about returning to the property on Thursday. Steve and Amy got out later in the day and navigated to their neighborhood in Friendswood to see their still partially submersed home. Hank and Abby were doing fine on high ground. The weather was wonderful, clear blue skies and a nice cool breezed helped to dry things out quickly. No rain in site for the day. The storm had passed. Unfortunately, it was going to wreak more havoc with the people in Louisiana and other states in its path. Our prayers go out to those in that path as well. By the end of the day we only had 4” of water with a mild current in the drive way and surrounding areas

On Thursday, 31 Aug, we awoke to most of the flood waters being gone. We still had huge ponds in the front yard but the roads and houses on the property were finally dried up and passable. We were able to go and pick up Bob and Nan from their hotel, enjoy a wonderful Mexican food lunch and bring them back to Grace House. From here on out we are going to be in full restoration mode. We are very thankful things have turned out as good as they did considering they could have been a whole lot worse.

Now some have asked what about all of the animals that you have our there. Well let’s see:

Luna the horse is now over staying full time with Hope, Lauren’s horse since last spring so Luna was not in harm’s way.

Arnold the huge pot belly pig was loving the water and the mud in the whole ordeal but we eventually had to put him up in the barn where it never got wet. He rode the storm out in the barn

 

The Three Goats where on their little island of grass in the pasture when we finally had to lead them back to the barn as well. Thankfully so as their little patch of grass soon disappeared.

 

Then there was the 100 chickens and quail that we have. For the most part they did well, we had to move them to the big barn as well as there was one or two that found out that they were chickens and not ducks which did not work out so well when they were out free ranging in the afternoon.

 

All of the other various critters were in good shape and just as happy to see the water recede.

MD Anderson and patients have begun the calls to see how soon we can receive patients so we know the need is great. We are doing all we can to get things back to normal as fast as possible.

We hope this may have answered any questions that you may have had related to this event.  Please forward to others that maybe interested as well.

If you would like to donate for the restoration as we did not have flood insurance you can do that there as well.

Likewise, if you have any other questions please do let us know. In the meantime, stay safe, dry and receive all of the blessings that God has stored up for you.

Steve and Lynn Parks and the rest of the Eagles lift Family.  Special thanks to Tamara, Rosalyn, Sherry, Steve and Jake , Board Member Becky Soliz and her family and several sisters and elders from the LDS church that pitched in to help us recover.