The Creech Comets Return Home after Harvey

When Hurricane Harvey made landfall, unimaginable flood waters came, and Creech Elementary and it’s surrounding community were the hardest hit. One year later, the Comets are blasting past the heartache of Harvey, and back on their home campus.

KATY MAGAZINE | September 2018

By Natalie Cook Clark & Ashley Lancaster

The Rising Waters

To the many students and faculty of Creech Elementary, August 15 didn't just mark the first day of school, but was a balm for the wounds inflicted during the torrential rain and subsequent flooding that displaced Creech families last year.

The campus was one of the most badly damaged properties in Katy ISD, and was the focus of several local and national broadcasts. Second grade teacher Ginger Dewberry remembers coming to the slow realization that her beloved Comet families were in trouble, watching, horrified, as her students were forced to evacuate their homes.

"The last time I was at Creech before the storm, I really just thought we'd have a few days off and then the still new school year would resume. I couldn't believe it when a friend sent me pictures of the hallways and I could see my chairs floating down the hall along with the wall calendar I had worked so hard on," she recalls.

Photo courtesy of Dawn Champagne

The long arm of the storm extended further than anyone could have expected. Many teachers and campus administrators had their own devastation to deal with, including principal Euberta Lucas, whose home in Waller county saw flood damage as well. But campus leaders and staff were not content to sit idly by and merely watch while their beloved students suffered, so they decided to help.

Saving Their Students

With no other recourse than to remain in her home until the storm dissipated, Dewberry quickly became crucial in dispatching boats to get families in the area out of flood waters, and 800 rescue crafts were dispatched to nearby homes to her credit by the time Harvey was over.

"I was home and couldn't get out so I just started texting our Principal and Vice Principal and fellow teachers. Before I knew it I was dispatching boats to get our families out of the waters. I just kept calling and texting anyone that I could to see if they could help," says Dewberry.

Principal Lucas was also flooded away from Creech and couldn't get there until after the waters receded. "It was pretty devastating to drive through the communities and see the piles and piles of trash in front of everyone's homes. I saw sheet rock, cabinets, rugs, carpet and of course the toys," recalls Lucas. "I remember that once it all was picked up you could still see stray crayons and Lego pieces stuck in the mud."