Hurricane Harvey: Nigerian man speaks on his experience with Houston flood

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A Nigerian being rescued in the Houston flood

A Nigerian living in Houston, Texas speaks on the flood and the breakdown of the reservoir.

Houston, Texas is one of the largest communities of Nigerians in America.

The city of Houston was one of the worst hit places by the heavy rainfall and Hurricane Harvey. The torrential rain and devastating wind have made over one million people evacuate their homes in Texas. This also includes Nigerians.

Pulse reached out to one of the many Nigerians living in Houston to recount his experience with the flood and the hurricane.

 

Koko-Ete Obott who works as a Petroleum/Drilling Engineer was fortunate not to live in any of the flood prone areas when the rains started. "Where I live is not close to any Bayou and has good drainage, but once I live my community/estate it gets worse," he said.

One of the places hit by the torrential rain was a medical centre in Houston. "My friend at the medical centre is waiting for a helicopter (coast guards) to pick him up, the whole ground floor is covered with water and he's on the 2nd floor, no electricity," he said.

 

Another place that was greatly affected was Richmond, a suburb in Texas. Koko's cousin Albert Itauma, a student at the University of Houston, lives there and he was trapped in the heavy flood and had to be rescued.

According to Koko, it was not the rain that actually got the cities in Texas flooded. It was the reservoirs. Some of the reservoirs hit the maximum capacity and when it couldn't contain the water anymore it broke. This is what led to Richmond being flooded. Below is a photo of his cousin being rescued.

 

"That reservoir's capacity might be 90 billion litres of water, so imagine all that water pouring out. And the water started going backwards. There are more communities to the back of the reservoir. So they had to open the reservoir to flood some other places to prevent a bigger damage"  Koko says

"The flood was too much, and the government issued an evacuation but most people had lived there for many decades and had not seen any flood before.

"Some people didn't go and the rate at which the water came in, it wasn't as if the rain increased. It was the reservoir that was flooding them not the rain. It entered their house in no time, like in an hour or two hours" he further explained. 

This was on the night of the Mayweather/McGregor fight.

 

By Thursday, September 1, 2017, the situation had improved. "The sun is out and no more rain, but the two major Reservoirs, Brazos and Addicks are full. So they have to relieve it and that will allow it to flow through the city from north west to south east to the gulf. So there'll still be flood till that is complete. So they evacuated some communities in advanced while they carry this operation" he revealed.

 

The death toll so far has hit 40 and officials fear that the number will increase. There are no records yet that a Nigerian drowned in the flood.



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