Hurricane Harvey effects Lake Ridge Families

Connor Thompson, ENN Staff

Hurricane Harvey brought destruction to the coastlines of Texas, but it’s impact has been felt all over America. Property has been destroyed. Friends have been lost. Family has been displaced. Floods have covered the cities of Houston and Corpus Christi. Even though students weren’t impacted physically, Lake Ridge High School is also feeling the effects of this natural disaster.

Tragic stories fill the halls of Lake Ridge, but some students have been affected more than others. Junior, Jocelyn Ralis has felt the wrath of the hurricane in the form of her family members being displaced from their homes. Some she has not been in contact with since the disaster hit.

“My cousin’s daughter has a house with one of her kids and they were in the middle of it, and we were keeping contact with them, but service got cut out and we haven’t heard from them since then. We’re really scrambling to find out if she’s okay, and we’re really worrying. I just hope they find a way to get in contact with us and to know that we love them and miss them.” said Ralis.

Unfortunately, these tragic stories are all too common even 234 miles away from the physical destruction. Junior, Matthew Thompson has a large part of his family living in Houston, and for them water is hard to come by and conditions are worsening.

“All of the family on my mom’s side are in Houston right now, like my aunts and uncles are all down there and they’re all trapped. My uncle is held in a police station because he works in a chemical plant. So obviously, it’s really hard right now and we’re just trying to make sure everyone is okay and safe.” said Thompson.

And as more and more parts of Houston are overrun with the floods, even more people connected to Lake Ridge are affected. Junior Rodvick Thornton tells the story of his cousin, who was forced to evacuate from one shelter to another because of the flood’s progression. He had just arrived in Houston for higher education, and they are attempting to get more information about his current location.

“My cousin had just moved to Houston for college, and we’re not sure which area of Houston he’s in but we know he’s in Houston. But we do know the area he was in, and he had to move out to another part of Houston and that they wouldn’t be coming back to that area. We didn’t talk to much when I texted him, but he told me that he’s okay. I just hope he stays that way.” said Thornton.

In some cases, families have had to outright drive away from their homes and neighborhoods to Northeast Texas. AP Human Geography teacher, Ashley Hicks, explains that a part of her family has fled towards DFW, seeking safety from the 8 feet of water threatening their lives.

“I have a couple of cousins and some more extended family who live in the Houston area, and they did evacuate to come up here to Dallas to be with us temporarily. They were able to get out by driving before the traffic got too crazy. They aren’t particularly close, but they are still family and we worry about them.” said Hicks.

Mansfield Independent School District has teamed up with the Salvation Army, pushing a district-wide initiative to collect bottled water, Gatorade, Granola bars, new toothbrushes and toothpaste, disposable diapers, and baby wipes. If you would like to donate, bring any of these items by Friday, September 8th.