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HARVEY STORY Isabella Goytia, an eighth grader at River Oaks Baptist School, saw a couch and pool table in her house float before her family evacuated during Hurricane Harvey. (Photo: Haley Webster, Three Smudges Photography)
On Aug. 27, I woke up at 5 a.m. Walking to my parents’ room, I looked through the window toward the backyard and the bayou beyond. It was so dark that I couldn’t see anything, so my dad and I headed downstairs to get a better picture of the water level. We ran to the window and saw nothing but water.
We moved quickly toward the door that led to our bottom floor. Opening the door, we carefully walked down the steps. We were only able to descend to the first landing. There was water up to the top step, and our couch and pool table were floating. We were stunned.
My dad and I went to wake up the rest of my family on our third floor. It was hard to wake them up at first, but when we told them how high the water was, they shot out of bed. We ran down to our second floor and immediately started moving things up as quickly as we could, in case the water kept rising. Eight hours and more than 100 flights of stairs later, we were done. Watching the water rise, we started to pack our bags because we knew we needed to evacuate.
A few hours later, I saw on Snapchat that a friend who lived one block away was being rescued. Thirty minutes later, we saw some people in kayaks coming down our street. We waved and shouted, and they floated over. They took us down Chimney Rock and got us to a safe spot a few streets away.
After a few days, we came back home. In the days following, many of my friends came and worked on demolishing and mucking out our bottom floor. It was amazing seeing all my friends from school and our community who just showed up to work without being asked. We took down sheetrock and insulation and shoveled heavy, wet debris. At the end of each day, we were exhausted. I can’t imagine being where we are today without all of the help. I am so thankful to each person.
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