Hi everyone, as most of you know, our building was flooded late last August when we had the crazy storms that flooded many areas in downtown, specifically in and around the Deep Ellum area. Our entire first floor was ruined, and we had to remediate, remodel, clean, the whole 9. What the media called a “500” year storm was actually just a bad storm that happened to cause serious flooding because the City of Dallas’ contractors and employees failed to remove the covers from all of the drains in the impacted areas before the storm hit. All of these areas also “happened” to be areas where the City is working on these big giant drainage projects that ironically are supposed to prevent flooding.
I sat in on a Peaks Addition Homeowner Association meeting where a representative from the City of Dallas had a lot to say on the matter. He admitted the drain covers were accidentally left on, but then in the same breath, he told us this was a freak, only once in every 500 years type of natural disaster.
Conveniently, he couldn’t tell me how bad the flooding would have been had the drains been free and clear to do their jobs. We have video of fire and police showing up in our area in the middle of the night during the flood and in a matter of about 5 minutes the water went from 4 – 5 feet outside of our building down to nothing. The City rep said that the fire and police folks didn’t do anything to make the water go away, but it’s pretty darn coincidental that right after they show up to the area where the drainage pipes are being worked on, the water all of the sudden starts to drain.
Not here to debate, but pretty coincidental that none of these areas have ever flooded like this before until the City started repairs and left the drains completely blocked. The City reps also acted like everyone down here should have been jumping for joy since Dallas sent trash trucks out off schedule to help with the debris. So insulting. These people all lost everything, and the City of Dallas employees were patting themselves on the back for sending trash trucks out to help clean up a mess that their counterparts / contractors caused.
I’ve been a lifelong Dallas guy, born and raised but how the City handled this and how it has treated these low income citizens and everyone who lives / works in the area has been nothing but disappointing. Honestly, for the first time ever in my life, this made me feel embarrassed to be a citizen of Dallas and made me think of potentially not living or working here, knowing that in a suburb, residents would be treated this way, and this would be allowed.
Enough griping and off my soapbox, here’s my ask.
The side street next to our building is full of working-class families, some who rent, some who own but this is not an area that is known for its wealth. They of course have no voice and nobody to help them. They aren’t in a rich part of town that’s driving a ton of revenue or taxes, so they are left to deal with the mess and clean up their lives on their own, even though this was a City made disaster. I have reached out to the neighbors on this street and got a list put together of different things they all need house by house to get their lives back to normal, almost a year later. There have been many church and community groups helping since the storms, but now that we’re getting further and further away from the storms and the media attention, the help and assistance is starting to dry up. All the homes on Alcalde St. next to our building are single story and the water was up 5 – 6 feet at its highest point, so most of the people on this street literally lost everything and many of their homes are still in dis-repair. There are families, single parents, elderly, etc. It really is pretty sad to see what happened and how they have been treated.
We’ve personally and business wise been helping with some small, incremental things that we could help with over the last few months after putting together the list, but there’s still a decent list of items that are being requested, some big, some small, so I wanted to reach out to my close friends / family and some area contacts to see if any of you had anything that you could possibly help with. If you know of anyone doing remodels or anything like that where we could possibly get some things into these people’s hands that were otherwise possibly going to be thrown away that would be awesome as well.
I am keeping up with a SS that lists the requests by address so we can make sure the items that are requested go to the right people, but to keep things simple, major / most requested items are shown below. Here’s some of the major asks:
Kids Clothing –
Shoes sized 9, 10, 11 & 12
Clothes – Sizes 3t – 5t
Clothes – Sizes 12 – 14
Juniors Size: S or M
Clothes Sizes 3t – 5t
Pants sizes 7 thru 9
Shoes – sizes 5, 6, 9 thru 13
Diapers– Sizes 4 – 7 Diapers
Adults Clothing –
Pants – Size 33
Shirts Sizes – L & XL
Undergarments – Sizes L & XL
Shoes – Sizes 8, 9, 11W & 12
Top’s, Pants & Undergarments Size M, L & XL
Women Shoes – Sizes needed –4.5; 5; 6.5; 7.5; 8; 9
Chest of Drawers (3) – 1 for each child in a single family
Queen or King Size Bed
Small Sofa or Couch
Doors for house (this house needs remodeling still) – 3 – 32 in doors; 2 – 24 in bathroom doors; 3 closet doors
Bedroom Set / Furniture
Living Room Couch
Towels / Wash Cloths
Request to have house textured & painted (maybe a volunteer group could help w this?)
Gift Cards Requested
Any Grocery Store
Rooms to Go
There were multiple requests for Walmart and Target gift cards to no surprise. I would ask, if anyone has any clothing or shoes to donate, that they please be new or like new. These people have been insulted and mis-treated enough by the powers that be so we’re not looking to collect junk, only good quality items. If any of you know of any community groups or religious groups that can help with things like this, please feel free to share. There’s not too many businesses down in this area so I am taking this on personally to try and help get all of these people the items that they have requested, with others help of course. Please reach out if you have some ideas or would like to talk specifics. It’s going to take a village to help these people, but I’m confident with our pooled resources and contacts we can help all of the neighbors down here get their lives back to what they were BEFORE the flood ruined all the homes on this street.
Thank you so much for taking the time to real along and hopefully help out. I’m 100% open for collaboration, let’s please talk.