A Stormy Welcome

The Texas Story Project.

John Paul Borgan and Dr. Jeremy Grace
John Paul Borgan and Dr. Jeremy Grace

Jeremy Grace was teaching at Northern Arizona University when he got the opportunity to work at Rice University in Houston. The interview went well and he was to move to Houston in June. It was 2001 so the internet had not really caught on yet. Jeremy and his best friend, Joe, were on their way to Houston with a U-Haul, his pick-up truck being dragged behind it. They had not seen any news or heard about anything going on in Houston as they embarked on this journey. They spent the night outside of Houston and went to 1954 Lexington St. in the morning to move in. As they started taking all the stuff out of the U-Haul, it began to sprinkle. This didn't faze them at all as they started jamming out to their music and moving everything out. They made it a point to get the whole U-Haul unloaded and everything in the house all set by the first day. Once everything was done, they moved the truck into a small awning on the side of the house. They figured since the house was all set, they might as well turn in the U-Haul and do that first grocery run to get all the bare necessities a house needs. They went to the grocery store and spent over $500 to get all the main foods needed for the house. As they got back and began to chill, the clouds looked as ominous as ever and began to pour. This didn't matter as much until Joe called Jeremy to take a look outside. Now Lexington street had houses lined along it and had about a 4-foot dip to the road and back up on the other side of the street. When Jeremy looked out, he was shocked to see that the water had gotten so high, a white car was slowly floating across the street until it rested on a car right next to his house. They knew the weather in Texas was funky but didn't know it got THAT bad.

They decided to tune into NPR to see what was going on and heard about a massive storm that was expected to hit Houston. This was not the welcome they were expecting when they first left Arizona. The next day it was time for Joe to head back so Jeremy took him to the airport and watched him fly off. The rain had subsided and was back down to a mere sprinkle but Jeremy rushed home, just to be safe. That was a good move because the rain picked right back up and started flooding the streets again. This went on for 5 consecutive days. Jeremy could not leave his house because the water was right up to his doorstep. He said it was so bad, that he could canoe all the way down to Rice, which was about a mile away. As he tuned into his radio since there was nothing better to do, he was informed that tropical storm Allison was currently bashing away at Houston since it stalled right above it. This was the worst tropical storm that wasn't a hurricane as it shed over 35 inches of rain and caused over 8.5 billion dollars in damages. After the rain subsided, the city was still entirely flooded for a couple more days after that. Since there was nothing better to do, he would go to the overpass right behind his house that overlooks Highway 59 and would just look down to see the highway littered with cars and semis all piled up on each other. "Hundreds of other people got the idea too so it became sport to talk and eat on the overpass as they watched whatever floated by." (Jeremy Grace)

Weeks after, the stagnant water had attracted clouds of mosquitoes. Jeremy had a friend come visit him and she despised having to put on loads of OFF since just sticking your arm out the window would attract a cloud of the pests all around you. The news even did an experiment and came to a conclusion that 100 mosquitoes would land on you in a matter of 12 seconds.

However, throughout all this turmoil, Jeremy found a loving home in Texas and has since moved to San Antonio to direct the MBA program here at the St. Mary's University Greehey School of Business.

John Paul Bogran Jr. is currently a freshman at St. Mary's University pursuing a degree in Finance and Risk Management. He is always seeking to get involved and is currently a Dean Scholar and member of Gamma Iota Sigma. He loves soccer and has played all his life.

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