Tuesday – Still no movement so I “showered” in my cell and am keeping glued to different news broadcasts on the radio. Today’s forecast is 4-6 inches of rain in Livingston. I think if we make it through today with no flood negative events we might be out of the woods. I can see the stress on the faces of the guards who work here. They are here in body but their mind is elsewhere. The flood is driving them – me too!
Monday – This morning I woke up to a “no movement” status on DR because only half the usual number of guards came to work. They do not have enough guards to run the building on the normal schedule – recs, showers, etc. I am in a corner in this building so all I see is the all in the pod next to me and a piece of the sky above. It’s a bit maddening and quite surreal to hear all that is happening around us on the radio and not be all to see anything except the rain fall that seems to be non-stop. Earlier this morning the drain on the run between me and the cell next to me began to spit water out of it and run into my cell. Not good at all. I was able to stop the flow and barricaded the bottom of the door and cleaned up that nasty water. But white it was happening I thought to myself “what if I can’t stop it?” So as soon as I did I packed my property and will be ready to get out of this cell if it happens again. I will not stay in a cell with sewer water running into it. So that was the first consequence of Hurricane Harvey here on DR.
Sunday – I woke up this morning and when I turned up my radio that was on NPR they were broadcasting CBS TV news. They reported that 24 inches of water/rain has fallen on Houston. A few hours later the CBS TV news building had to be evacuated because it was flooding. The rain, the flood, is nothing like anyone has ever seen in Texas. They say a triangle that stretches from Corpus Christi to Houston to Austin, TX, the size of the state of Michigan, has been turned into a lake. The main public hospital, Ben Tobb hospital, has been evacuated and they say they need civilians with boats to report to the authorities because they need help with high water rescue. Over 2000 high water rescues have been performed so far. Keep in mind there are over six million people in Houston so this situation will only get worse. They say that the authorities should have made evacuation mandatory but they did not and thus people thought they would be okay.
Here in Livingston so far we’ve only had rain that has been steady but no flooding. We were fortunate as the storm spun more west of Houston that east. Our fear is of flooding. With flooding our water source is affected as well which will make life extremely difficult locked in a cell. I don’t even want to think about what would happen if we had two feet of rain here. The water was 16 ft high in Houston! We are not yet halfway through this disaster and I do not know how it will end. I will keep my eyes and ears open hoping to keep safe!
Saturday – This morning I went to shower and came back to my cell and used pieces of Dial soap that I had soaked and softened with water to plug up my leaky window in my cell. I am getting ready for the rain. Hurricane Harvey hit as a category IV storm with winds at 130mph, rain, and tornadoes. It’s at Houston now and we are getting rain here. I have been looking out my window and see the very dark skies and rain and wonder if it will flood here? I am locked in a cell and cannot get out if it floods here. That is not a fun thought. That is a remote possibility – but still it do not enjoy it at all. The forecast says that the storm is circling all the way up to Austin, TX then back to the gulf for water and more rain. They said it could continue through next Tuesday or later! Not good.
Friday – I woke up this morning and did my laundry so it would dry by the time the rain begins. The storm is now a hurricane, Harvey, and is expected to hit Corpus Christi, TX as a category III hurricane with winds at 120 mph, rain, even tornadoes. I have been listening to the news and at 7 pm officials said that if people did not heed warnings and evacuate write your name and social security number on your arm with a permanent marker so you could be identified. They mean when you are dead! They expect people to be killed by this storm. Houston is expected to get over 30 inches of rain which will cause massive flooding. What affects Houston often washes over into the Livingston area.
Thursday – I can’t help but think about the pending storm and now it has affected me personally. I hoped to visit my friend Abby today, but when I heard that the rain and flooding could begin as early as today I knew Abby would not travel from Austin and visit. She is now one to drive in stormy rainy weather – nor do I want her to be!
Wednesday – Today I heard a weather forecast that a tropical storm named Harvey is forming in the Gulf of Mexico and they say it can reach land by Friday. This storm has the ability to become a hurricane. I am confined about 100 miles away from the Gulf of Mexico coast line and I have seen two hurricanes here, Katrina and Ike. Those were very rough times here as we lost electricity for 3+ days.
Monday – Today I was blessed with a visit from Glenna, my long time friend and spiritual advisor, who comes to visit me every month. There have been times in my life when the only person who would come to visit me, thereby getting me out of this awful cell, has been Glenna. I have a very good visit with my friend, sharing the latest in my life and listening as she told me about hers. I believe we’ve been friends and visiting for over fifteen years now and Glenna is one of the finest, most spiritual, caring, and compassionate people in my life, and it’s always a positive change for me to see her at visit.
Saturday – Today I was in my cell doing the usual writing and listening to radio when I was informed by the guard that I had a visit! This was a surprise because I had not gotten any letters or jpay (email) telling me someone was visiting, so I did not know who it would be. So for the next three hours I though about that – and I’m glad it was only 3 hours. 5 pm rolls around and I am taken out to visitation and a little after 5:30 PM Dina walks in! So for once the “surprise” was a good one and I have a good visit with my friend.
Friday – Sometimes it’s hard to believe how fast the days and weeks go by. This daily routine we have on TX DR, or in prisons in genera,l rarely changes and when we do the same thing over and over we stop paying attention and the days and weeks blur together and when we look up we can’t believe a month has gone by.
There are days here that I do the same thing over and over times ten and I look up and six months have somehow gone by. But for the first time I do not have the awful and all too familiar feeling of dread to deal with. For so long I felt like I was falling down Mount Everest. Tumbling down and now I have a positive feeling that fills me up and this good vibe confirms what I know is coming my way. So the time flying by is a good thing because it gets me close to going home!