Living through Hurricane Harvey, and Tropical Depression Imelda just two years later, has led some Houstonians to ask: Is living here worth it?
Maggie Gordon, a reporter for the Houston Chronicle, has discovered that repeated flooding has indeed forced the city’s residents to reckon with whether they should stay.
“It leaves this feeling – some people kept saying to me – this feeling of powerlessness,” Gordon says. “It doesn’t matter which neighborhood I bought in; I could still get caught up in this.”
Gordon says this attitude applies even among those with deep roots in Houston.
But others have mixed feelings.
“I think that’s a deeply personal question,” Gordon says. “I think who you are as a person will define whether you’re willing to go 12 hours away from grandma, or whether you think there’s just a little bit greener grass on a different side of the loop.”
Gordon says a Rice University study found that 20% of people affected by Hurricane Harvey experienced symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder.
“It’s this physical, physiological response to trauma that they’re feeling,” Gordon says.
Plenty of Houstonians have decided that the risks of flooding and hurricanes are worth taking because of the city’s many virtues.
“What I think is interesting is that we’re asking these questions at all,” Gordon says.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.