Stories

Texan self-sufficiency powers recovery

Recuse boats in Houston. AP

"Do-it-yourself rescues are part of the Texas way," by WashPost's Kevin Sullivan and Peter Holley, on A1:

  • "[A] remarkable network of boat owners with smartphones, worried neighbors with laptops and digital wizards with mapping software popped up to summon and support an army of Good Samaritans who motored, rowed and waded into dangerous waters to save family, friends and total strangers."
  • "The 'We the People' response seemed distinctly Texan, an outgrowth of the state's almost genetic disinclination to rely on the government for anything — and in some cases, resolute willingness to defy it. Just as some Texans defied mandatory evacuation orders ahead of the storm, many rescuers ignored repeated official warnings to stay off streets flooded with treacherous and fast-flowing waters."
  • "Texas officials, in turn, repeatedly emphasized the importance of personal responsibility. They warned people not to call 911 unless their life was in immediate peril."

The great David Von Drehle, who left TIME and has returned to the WashPost as a twice-weekly opinion columnist, today writes on "The radical flood and the spirit of Houston":

  • "Charlottesville. Berkeley. Houston. Three dots that lead to something urgent about our politics. Let's connect them."
  • "Charlottesville and Berkeley are rampaging reminders that the political spectrum is much broader than we Americans are used to acknowledging. The spectrum runs far beyond Republicans and Democrats, from fascism to communism and from tyranny to anarchy. Conservatives and liberals are actually shoulder to shoulder at the center of this range."
  • "We need leaders who can read the clouds of Charlottesville and Berkeley for the genuine menace they pose. Who, in the spirit of Houston, can shelve their differences, climb into their boats, and begin collecting all the stranded Americans they can find."