McMana­man-Bridges says Har­vey has brought Tex­ans to­gether

Amherst na­tive work­ing as a nurse in Hous­ton

The Amherst News - - NEWS - BY DAR­RELL COLE dcole@amher­st­daily.com Twitter: @ADN­dar­rell

Tracy McMana­man-Bridges is amazed by the re­siliency of Tex­ans in the af­ter­math of hur­ri­cane Har­vey.

e Amherst na­tive has worked as a nurse at a Hous­ton-area hospi­tal for 10 years af­ter spend­ing an­other decade work­ing in North Carolina. In the days since Texas was slammed by the pow­er­ful storm, she says Tex­ans have come to­gether to help those in need.

“Peo­ple re­ally come to­gether in times like this and any­one who needs help is get­ting help,” she said. “ at’s what’s spe­cial about Texas, no one is be­ing left be­hind. Peo­ple are go­ing into the poorer ar­eas to get peo­ple out and do­ing what­ever they can to help out.”

McMana­man-Bridges was at work at Hous­ton Methodist Sugar Land through most of the storm as a mem­ber of the fa­cil­ity’s ride-out team and it was only Wed­nes­day that she was nally able to re­turn to her home, which was un­touched by the storm. e dam­age is close, though.

“Lit­er­ally 10 houses from where we are the houses were de­stroyed by the ood­ing. We only had min­i­mal dam­age here, but driv­ing up the street you see piles and piles of fur­ni­ture and dry­wall in front of peo­ple’s houses. Now they have to wait for con­struc­tion com­pa­nies to come and x,” she said. “It depends on where you live. It un­for­tu­nate that the hard­est hit peo­ple are the poor peo­ple who live in apart­ments that won’t get xed and hous­ing that won’t get put back to­gether.”

On Thurs­day, McMana­man-Bridges, who is also a pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Hous­ton’s nurs­ing col­lege, was tak­ing her stu­dents out into the com­mu­nity to vol­un­teer in the hard­est hit ar­eas.

She said very few peo­ple in the area have ood in­sur­ance.

“ ere are a lot of peo­ple who have noth­ing, they got out just with the clothes they were wear­ing,” she said.

McMana­man-Bridges said she has lived through sev­eral hur­ri­canes and near misses, in­clud­ing Ike that also caused mil­lions of dol­lars of dam­age in Septem­ber 2008. While Har­vey brought lots of wind to Hous­ton, it was the sev­eral days of tor­ren­tial rain that swelled rivers and streams and caused mas­sive ood­ing.

She ex­pects some ar­eas around the city of six mil­lion to be un­in­hab­it­able for weeks or months, if not years.

A lot of prepa­ra­tions were made for the storm, she said, in­clud­ing send­ing most of her hospi­tal’s more crit­i­cal pa­tients and ba­bies to Dal­las, but the sever­ity of the ood­ing was not ex­pected and has done tremen­dous dam­age to parts of the city. While the weather has cleared, and the sun re­turned, the flood wa­ters are con­tin­u­ing to rise, mean­ing the sit­u­a­tion could get worse be­fore it gets bet­ter.

“It’s nice out now, but it’s ex­pected that it will be Saturday be­fore all the rivers crest and drain,” she said. “ e hur­ri­canes for us usu­ally aren’t that bad, but this one landed about two to three hours from here and dropped a lot of rain on us which led to the ood­ing. When the storm went through the rain was so bad you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face, it was that bad. Prob­lem is, it sat over us for 18 hours and didn’t move. You pretty much had to stay where you were and let it set­tle down, then it con­tin­ued rain­ing for three to four days.”

SUB­MIT­TED

Tracy McMana­man-Bridges has been a nurse in Hous­ton for 10 years and lived through last week’s mas­sive hur­ri­cane that has caused mil­lions of dol­lars in dam­age. While the Amherst na­tive’s home was not dam­aged, some in her neigh­bour­hood weren’t as for­tu­nate.

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