Milwaukee native moved to Houston a month before Harvey hit

For one Milwaukee native, he's had a bad run in with Mother Nature. Reggie Lewis, a 2002 Whitefish Bay High School graduate, a week after he moved to Nashville in 2010, it was hit with a 100-year flood.

Now, he's barely had time to set roots in Houston, having moved there a month ago and he's dealing with another catastrophic water event.

"It's devastating," Lewis said. "Seeing how quickly this water can make so much damage and then it's gone. It's a marvel in itself. Then you're left to pick up the pieces because it hits you so hard and it's gone. Then you're sitting wondering, what's next?"

Lewis feels fortunate after Harvey. He says his area was not hit very hard. Yes, his building in the city got some water damage but nothing like the devastation seen in other areas.

Because of the impact, he and his friends have tried to volunteer at many places to help other Houstonians in need. However, everything, including the amount of volunteers, is bigger in Texas.

"They can't even go volunteer because there are so many volunteers at each of these locations," Lewis said. "Which is a blessing. The city really rallies behind this."

Lewis is rallying behind all Houstonians. Including the internet scorned Joel Osteen, the senior pastor at Lakewood Church. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Osteen was blasted for not opening the doors to his massive arena-sized church.

However, Lewis said it would have been impossible for anyone to have safely made it to the church because all of the interstates were shut down due to flooding.

"I live a block from Lakewood Church," Lewis said. "We were advised not to leave our area because the interstates and everything around us were flooded. They aided in a hurricane where they had 5,000 evacuees at their church. To think they wouldn't be involved in the community at some level is just kind of crazy. Don't be a victim of the click bait and things. There are people working very hard down here to make sure this city is recovered and the people are well taken care of under the circumstances."

Osteen has since opened his doors to anyone in need. Now, everyone around the country are opening their pockets to those in need. Even those in Lewis's hometown are helping him in his new town.

"It's great to see the nation coming together amidst everything else that's going on in our nation lately and really showing what America is all about," Lewis said. "What the people are, deep down in their hearts, everyone just wants to make the world a better place. Seeing this tragedy happen and the whole world come to the aid of Houston is really great."

Even fellow Houston transplant J.J. Watt is helping out. He's raised more than $6 million to support the city he plays football in.

"Shout out to J.J. Watt," Lewis said. “A fellow Wisconsinite. Everyone is coming together to make Houston a better place and helping people who have been displaced because of this tragedy. We can really bring this city back and every little bit helps no matter where you are."

 

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