This is when being The Water Wife sucks. The Water Man is a marine contractor; he designs, constructs and maintains floating structures across Texas primarily on Lake Travis. When severe weather hits our lake, my husband goes to work. He works to secure docks and marinas day or night, regardless of conditions. Last Saturday night when the rains came, the alarms sounded for tornados and flash flood warnings and we were hunkered down in the bathroom, my husband went out on the lake. Severe weather is big news in our house and we watch the radar until the bib (rain suit) comes out and then we know he’s going. We all dread the rain gear.
However, the rain gear also means one thing for Lake Travis, the lake is rising. After 5 years in what some have deemed a 10, 20 or 30 year drought, the lake is rising. Many have predicted that our lake would never be the same. We have been told to get use to “River Travis” and all along those who have lived on this lake have been saying to just wait. Just wait. So wait we have since 2010 when the Texas drought began. We’ve waited, we’ve rain danced and we’ve prayed. And this week, we celebrate the end of the drought. This month the lake was down over 50’. Today the lake is at 659’ and rising, we are nearly 20’ from full. This is good news. I am thankful for the water level, I am thankful for the work and I am thankful for our community, but filling our lake has come at a price to those around us.
Texas is getting hammered; Wimberley, San Marcos, Austin, Bastrop and Houston to name just a few and it’s not over. The governor of Texas has declared 24 counties in a state of disaster. We are seeing historical flash flooding, broken dams, bridges, missing cars, homes and loss of life. Seeing the footage, the pictures and reading about the families affected is just terrifying and heartbreaking. I have family and friends all over Texas and we have been hit hard.
But here’s the thing I know; Texans survive, Texans fight and Texans help each other. I am blown away by the absolute solidarity and heart our communities have. There is already every kind of volunteer at the aide of the victims. Volunteers are cleaning out homes, keeping children, serving food, washing clothes, caring for pets, making and sorting donations, housing families, donating money (I’m talking about you HEB & Whataburger) and looking for the missing. It gives me pride with a side of goose bumps to see my state blaze into action as only Texas can.
Tonight I tucked my babies in alone and I’ve got the radar on. Texas is getting hit again. But I promise you this, Texas will rebuild, Texans will prevail, that my friends is what we do. Lake Travis will volunteer; we will send workers, money, supplies and prayers. And we will rejoice because the lake, it is a rising.