The catastrophic flooding in Houston and other areas caused by Hurricane Harvey has left the city ravaged and seen, at last count, 37 people die as a result of the latest natural disaster to rip through the Gulf Coast of the United States. The NBA community has reached out to Houston in a number of ways, led by Rockets owner Les Alexander pledging $10 million to relief efforts.
For Orlando Magic guard Jonathan Simmons (formerly of the Spurs) who lives in the Houston area, the hurricane hit closer to home than any other player in the league. Simmons detailed his scary experience with Hurricane Harvey recently to the Magic’s official website, explaining how he and his friends and family were stranded in a home and had to be rescued by boat.
“Saturday night it started raining about 8 o’clock, but we had gotten over there about 3 o’clock just to be safe,’’ Simmons recalled on Wednesday morning. “I had bought all of these air mattresses and covers and blankets and food and water for everybody. We were good for three days, but my other friend’s house had started getting flooded early, so he came there to the house, too. So that gave us another 11 extra people and most of them were kids. We had to let the kids eat first, so most of the last two days it was kind of rough (without food).
“There was at least 20 people in the house and probably eight of them were kids,’’ Simmons added. “When I was little, my mom always kept the fridge full of stuff (during hurricanes). This time, I ate a pack of ramen noodles and that’s all for like a day-and-a-half.’’
Simmons and his family didn’t have flood waters reach their house or lose power, but they did run out of food and were in need of rescue. Simmons’ friend, rapper Trae the Truth, came through for he and his family as a mutual friend from San Antonio had driven down with a boat to help evacuate Trae, so they picked up Simmons and his family and friends as well.
“Trae the Truth, the rapper, is from Houston and we know a mutual friend from San Antonio. They brought a boat to Houston because (Trae) had to evacuate as well,’’ Simmons said of the rapper, who has gained additional notoriety recently in Houston for helping dozens of others evacuate flooded areas. “They came and got (Trae) and then he came and got us right away. Luckily, I had a friend in the area who could help us out.”
“We still had to ride a boat, walk through muddy water and ride on the back of a dumpster truck for like five miles. It was crazy,’’ Simmons recalled. “I had to hold up my people and I had some kids with me. Most of the kids were old enough to walk, but one of them I had to carry with me.’’
Luckily Simmons and those with him were able to make it to safety, but it shows just how severe the situation was and still is for those in Houston and the surrounding areas.