I have a cousin who lives in Houston, and a college friend who lives there as well. I’ve been in touch with both, before the epic rain hit, and they were home and hunkering down. Watching the flooding on Sunday morning CNN causes me great concern for them, and for everyone in this large and modern and yet terribly vulnerable city.
Houston is warm at this time of year, and yet seeing people trudging along through waist-deep water, soaking wet and miserable, reminds me of how easily the body loses heat in those conditions. Our family was on a summer Vermont bike trip years ago when we were hit with a soaking rain. Our “water repellent” gear was quickly saturated. You’d think biking would generate enough heat for the body to stay warm, but it’s not so. When the group arrived at our next overnight stop, all of us wet and bedraggled, we hit hot showers or baths. The inn owners started a big fire, and made us hot drinks. It took hours for our core body temperatures to return to normal.
There are no hot showers on the horizon for these wet and suffering people, no big fires awaiting them, no warming drinks. This is an epic disaster and people are going to be in jeopardy for a long time.