KCU student describes outlook from Houston after hurricane

A look at the flooding in Houston. Photos courtesy of Maaheen Ahmed.

By Paul Thompson
Northeast News

Fourth-year Kansas City University (KCU) student Maaheen Ahmed has been at her home in Houston over the past week, offering her a first-hand look at the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Though her own family’s home has been spared from the worst of the storm – Harvey has led to dozens of deaths,  many thousands of displaced residents, and potentially billions of dollars in damages – Ahmed has family throughout the city who have been hit hard by flooding.

“My grandparents were put under a mandatory evacuation; we couldn’t help them at all,” Ahmed said.

Maaheen Ahmed. Photo provided by Kansas City University.

Ahmed’s aunt was out of town when the storm hit, leaving a pet-sitter behind with her dogs. The pet-sitter and the dogs were rescued from rising water in the home, and Ahmed’s aunt is currently staying in a nearby hotel. In a Wednesday, August 30 call with the Northeast News, Ahmed described the scene in Houston as rescue teams grapple with the immense impact of Hurricane Harvey.

“The lines at the grocery stores are unreal…they are just wrapping around the building,” Ahmed said. “We’ve been watching it religiously every day; it’s been devastating. This is my home.”

Despite the harrowing conditions, Ahmed says that she and others in the area have been gratified to see the overwhelmingly response to the hurricane from people throughout the country.

“I’ve seen pictures on the news of I-10 with people coming in with trucks and their boats,” Ahmed said. “I’m thankful for those people, because those are the people who saved my aunt’s pet-sitter.”

As one of the lucky ones in Houston whose home wasn’t overcome by flooding, Ahmed has felt compelled to do what she can to help her neighbors. As she spoke to the Northeast News, Ahmed was on her way to volunteer at a nearby shelter. She said that more than anything, those who have been evacuated from their homes are in need of basic necessities that they didn’t have time to pack before leaving. If people from Kansas City want to help, Ahmed suggested sending items like shampoo, soap, razors, deodorant, feminine products, toothpaste, pet food and pet leashes.

Ahmed is well regarded among those at Kansas City University. Anatomy Professor Dr. Barth Wright spoke highly of Ahmed’s time at KCU, adding that he’s not shocked that she’s taking a role in relief efforts.

“Maaheen Ahmed exhibits a range of qualities that one would hope for in a physician.  She is wonderfully capable, but also humble.  She can lead, but does so compassionately.  She is more concerned with the welfare of others than herself,” Wright said. “She also brings lightness and humor to stressful situations.  Working with her is always informative and fun.  Given these traits I am not at all surprised that she would seek to help the people of Houston during and in the aftermath of Harvey.”

For now, the work of rebuilding Houston looms on the periphery.

“We’re just thankful that we’re safe right now,” Ahmed said. “Some of my family members haven’t even been able to go back to their house. There’s no way to assess the damage.”

Despite the long road ahead, Ahmed is confident in Houston’s future.

“We do everything big in Texas,” Ahmed said. “So we’ll come back bigger and better.”

A gas station in Houston

Houston residents waiting in line to get into a grocery store.

A rescue vehicle in Houston.

Comments are closed.

  • Kansas City Museum seeking artists for work at Corinthian Hall

    13 hours ago

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News The Kansas City Museum has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) seeking three artists interested […]

    Northeast Newscast Episode 40 – on the state of the Missouri Legislature with District 19 State Rep Ingrid Burnett

    January 19th, 2018

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News On this week’s edition of the Northeast Newscast, we sit down with District 19 State […]

    Not Horsing Around – KCPD wants your horse

    January 19th, 2018

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News The Kansas City Mounted Patrol Unit is looking for recruits, and they’re not horsing around. […]

    SVN closed Wednesday due to burst pipe

    January 17th, 2018

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Scuola Vita Nuova (SVN) lost power at around midnight on Tuesday, January 16, causing the […]

    Local church foots coffee bill at Eleos on Jan. 17

    January 17th, 2018

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News LifeConnection Northeast church has pledged to pay for every cup of drip coffee ordered at […]

  • East Patrol Captain acknowledged by Chiefs for role in saving life

    January 17th, 2018

    Paul Thompson Northeast News After the Kansas City Chiefs disposed of the Oakland Raiders 26-15 on December 10 at Arrowhead […]

    A Day of Service at Northeast High School

    January 17th, 2018

    Katrina E. Williams Northeast News   On the morning of January 15, a group of volunteers including members of AmeriCorps, […]

    Northeast Newscast Episode 39 – Americorps VISTA Ana Ramirez discusses serving Northeast KC

    January 12th, 2018

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Since September of 2017, Ana Ramirez has worked out of the Mattie Rhodes Center in […]

    Eleos Coffee to Host a “Roasting and Toasting the Coffee” Business Social Hour

    January 12th, 2018

    Katrina E. Williams Northeast News Eleos Coffee, located at 3401 Independence Avenue on the South-East corner of Indiana, will be […]

    KCMO Mayor, Chief of Police stand together against violent crime

    January 11th, 2018

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News On Wednesday, January 10, Kansas City Mayor Sly James and KCPD Chief of Police Rick […]

  • What’s Happening

    The Legend Of Old “Wide-Awake”

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Vaughn’s Diamond was a prominent building constructed in the late 1860’s by early Kansas City real […]

    CID: Soma Somali Shopping Center and El Torito III

    retorts illustrated by bryan stalder

  • Local Weather