WHO: The people of Houston and other parts of Southeast Texas.
WHAT: Strange, joyful moments amid the devastation of Tropical Storm Imelda.
WHY IT’S SO GREAT: The impact of Imelda, the fifth-wettest tropical cyclone to hit the contiguous United States, is serious. It’s likely to leave people in parts of the state rebuilding for months—maybe years—to come. We don’t mean to undermine the very real human consequences to the destruction caused by the storm when we highlight some of the more unusual moments that have occurred in its wake. Consider these encouraging examples of the resilience of the human spirit, as demonstrated through the actions of your fellow Texans.
Let’s start with this piece of the #YeehawAgenda. A young woman named Joanne shared on Twitter a video of a whole slew of family members riding—and we do mean riding—to the rescue of her little cousin after the roads flooded. A trio of adults galloped through waters too high to drive a car through to retrieve the girl from school, even taking enough care to tuck her backpack under a plastic trash bag to keep it safe and dry from further precipitation. Can’t nobody tell them nothing, indeed.
Anyone: "Tell me about Houston…"— Doug Keegan (@doug_keegan) September 20, 2019
Houstonian: "This dude caught a four pound bass on the I45 frontage road in front of Whataburger while he was stranded waiting for the flood waters to recede." pic.twitter.com/VPaqT86PiR
In Houston, meanwhile, an unidentified man made the local news for showing off how he spent his time waiting for waters recede on the Interstate 45 frontage road—by fishing! He said he caught a four-pound bass that the storm had carried into the flooded temporary lake that the street had become. His cooly triumphant expression says almost everything the needs saying, and anything else worth saying is expressed well by the Whataburger he’s casually enjoying as he recounts a story that, we expect, his friends and family will be hearing for years to come.
Also in Houston, the flooding on U.S. 59 created multiple standstill traffic situations throughout Thursday. Drivers faced the prospect of being stranded for hours, or longer, waiting for waters to recede or rescue to come. Where do you eat in the face of such uncertainty? If you were on the particular stretch of highway where a taco truck got stuck yesterday, the answer is “right there on the side of the road,” as the proprietors of said truck used their restaurant’s mobility as an asset, serving their fellow motorists and creating an atmosphere that, from the photos, looks more like a block party than a state of emergency.
There’ll be more stories coming out of the region in the wake of Imelda, and they won’t all be encouraging. As we learn more about the toll that the storm took on Southeast Texas, there’s bound to be more than a few things that shock us—but hopefully we’ll also get further examples of people finding bits of humor and community (and horses!) to carry us through.