We planned to ride out Harvey, until the floodwaters came

HOUSTON (AP) — At 4:30 a.m. Sunday, my husband, Rafi, woke me up. “There’s water in our bathroom. We need to look around,” he said.

Our sunroom already had 6 inches (15 centimeters) of water. Outside, the water was right at our door. My son’s room was picking up water from the backyard. We woke everyone and put towels at the doors. Seems silly now, but at the time it seemed the right thing to do.

And then the water just started rushing in through the walls. Within an hour it was at my ankles.

We moved our picture albums to counters. We picked up laundry baskets, clothes from bottom drawers and shoes. My boys — 10-year-old Eliran, 14-year-old Ron and 15-year-old Shaked — grabbed the summer homework they had spent hours completing and put it on top shelves — no way they were going to redo that! Laptops went to the kitchen counter along with tablets and phones.

Text messages flew between neighbors: It was only 6 a.m. and the water was at the middle of my shin. A neighbor and colleague from work said he had more than a foot of water inside and was calling for rescue. I decided we could wait a little longer. Surely there were people in greater need.

By 7:30 a.m. I knew we needed to leave. The water was just under my knees. I grabbed Ziploc bags and stuffed two pairs of jeans, two T-shirts, underwear and moisturizer inside. I took all the chargers and went to the kitchen. The water was at my knees.

I called 911 and told them we needed to evacuate. I was still calm. I explained that we were fine for now but need to get out.

And then we waited.

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Houston has seen hurricanes, tropical storms and floods. But even for me, a non-native Houstonian, it had been clear since Thursday this was not going to be a typical event.

The days and hours that followed became a blur of activity. My mind was working overtime. I wanted to make sure my sons were safe. Food, gas and cash were also priorities.

But then, there was work. I am the director of communications at the Houston Forensic…

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