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Syracuse’s Houston Alumni Club president details Hurricane Harvey damage

Courtesy of Rachel White

Rachel White's home in Houston saw nearly 7 feet of rain immediately after Hurricane Harvey hit the area.

UPDATED: Sept. 12, 2017 at 12:50 p.m.

About 6-and-a-half feet of water flooded Rachel White’s home in Houston early last week, completely submerging her and her boyfriend’s cars.

White — Syracuse University’s Houston Alumni Club president — has spent the last several days in the Rice Military neighborhood of the city recovering from Hurricane Harvey, ripping out the sheetrock and insulation of her home.

At least 72 fatalities have been attributed to Harvey and more than 210,700 homes were damaged or destroyed, according to The Washington Post. White said all of the Syracuse alumni she could reach in the Houston area are OK, but her home is among the damaged.

For White, Aug. 26 was a typical Saturday. She went for a run in the neighborhood. After midnight, water trickled into her garage. It later receded, but by 5:30 a.m. water entered her home. She saved family pictures, aware the water could rise.

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The water rose to nearly 7 feet. She took video and photos from her balcony, describing the rain coming down the hills “like water rapids.”

White said the grocery stores were an “apocalypse,” with cleared-out produce sections, no bread and long lines at the checkout counters. White and her boyfriend spent all day Sunday, Aug. 27 in their home. That night, she and her boyfriend visited a neighbor’s house for a barbecue and “Game of Thrones” watch party.

She has spent time at her boyfriend’s house, which was not flooded. White will order four new doors, rebuild the stairs, floor, wall trimmings and retile the shower. She and friends have ripped out sheetrock and insulation. 

White, a Class of 2005 SU graduate, is the vice president of marketing and communication at Ion Geophysical, an energy technology company based in Houston. She returned to work the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 5, though she said the recovery has just begun.

The story has been updated with appropriate style.

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