After Hurricane Harvey dumped an estimated 51.9 inches of rainfall in the greater Houston area, Lee & Associates – Houston took inventory of the local team. While staff, brokers and their loved ones were safe and accounted for, not everyone came out unscathed.
One Lee & Associates broker and his family were evacuated from their home and several other brokers had cars flooded as a result of the record-breaking rainfall amounts.
As the destruction unfolded on televisions across the country, the bigger Lee & Associates family stepped up. Generating more than $70,000 in cash donations for the local Lee & Associates office, those impacted by the storm have been able to breathe a sigh of relief in the midst of the largest storm to ever hit the continental United States.
“There are so many people across all of our offices that stepped up in a big way to help our local team,” said Mike Spears, Managing Principal of Lee & Associates – Houston. “The outpouring of support and concern has been overwhelming. We are deeply, deeply grateful, for everyone’s best wishes and contributions.”
Spears journaled his experience during Hurricane Harvey, which began with an all-hands office meeting Friday morning, 14 hours before Harvey’s first massive band of rain hit Houston. He describes a system of assignments made to secure the office and “after making certain everyone had exchanged phone numbers, we wished each other luck and closed down the office.”
Once home, he wrote of an almost carefree atmosphere in his neighborhood 30 miles north of downtown in the suburb of Spring and then detailed the moment his perception of Hurricane Harvey changed.
“We awoke early to the sound of massive rainfall,” Spears recalled. “The water level in the lake behind his house was rising fast. Trees and benches were submerged.”
Read Mike Spears’ complete journal entry – Hurricane Harvey RecapFNL3
“The devastation witnessed first-hand is something that really hits you. This past week has been emotional and stressful beyond words. We and our clients are fortunate that our offices never lost power, but in the grand scheme of things, work is secondary to our family and loved ones that have been displaced due to this disaster.
“There have been so many selfless events. You hate the situation. You hate that it impacts lives the way it does. But there are silver linings –everything from the way our local operation handled this, the City of Houston and the Lee organization as a whole. You really learn who people are,” Spears said.
“The city of Houston is the most diverse big city in America, yet people spontaneously came together. People turned their businesses into shelters. If not for people risking injury, many more lives would have been lost. The people of Houston have been amazing. They make you beam with pride. I have complete confidence that we will rebuild this city and will emerge stronger than ever.”