The images of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey hitting Houston, Texas are devastating. With the storm passed, millions are still dealing with its effects.
Although the city is over 1,500 miles away, it hit home for a few Chargers.
Head Coach Anthony Lynn, a Texas native, opened his presser on Monday sending his thoughts and prayers to those affected.
Damion Square is a Houston native with many immediate and extended family members still in the city. Luckily for Square, those closest to him are safe.
“Everybody is safe,” Square said. “There are a few things underwater from some of my family members, but those things are replaceable. At this point, you’re just worried about life. Everybody is living and everybody still has power. No horror stories from this standpoint.”
Square’s mother left Houston for Los Angeles before Harvey hit, but he and his family have been keeping in close contact in a group chat. The only damage he knows they have endured is to cars and materialistic items.
While the rest of his family lucked out for the most part, he’s aware many are not as fortunate.
He knows this from personal experience. Growing up, he wasn’t naïve to tropical storms and hurricanes in the Houston area as he and his family could be displaced at any moment.
“I’ve been through it a few times. Everybody (can go through) a natural disaster. Hurricanes are something we go through a lot. It’s something you take into consideration when you move into a new area like Houston. With all the new developments, (a hurricane) just pushes the water in different directions…. They talk about it on the news. What happens with natural disasters is sometimes you evacuate and nothing happens. (Sometimes) you can get caught in a bad situation. I’ve been stuck on the freeway for nine hours to make a 45-minute drive trying to get somewhere safe…. I’ve been in that as a kid.”
In addition, the storm hit home for Derek Watt as his brother J.J. and the Houston Texans relocated to Dallas to practice ahead of the fourth preseason game. As of this afternoon, the NFL relocated Thursday’s game against the Cowboys that was originally scheduled to be played in Houston to AT&T Stadium.
“I’ve been in communication with him and he has a YouCaring page up,” Derek said. “I went on there and donated a little bit. It’s about doing anything you can. I know he’s made some big contributions trying to get the word out. Obviously, we’re praying for everyone down there and hoping that everyone tries to stay safe as possible.”
Right now, J.J.’s page has reached a donation total of over $750,000 with a goal of one million.
“Anyone can donate. Anything helps. Awareness, money, whatever you have; anything can really make a difference.”
While relief efforts are still ongoing, Square has optimism for the town he holds dear in his heart.
“The people there, they’re resilient,” he said. “They’ll recover well. It’s a great city with great people and a very diverse city. When all the water settles, people will do what they need to do to get that city going back in the right direction.”