By Elsa Maxey
Saturday’s event at Constellation Field, The Harvey Experience – one year later, represents the sort of thing that brings people together.
In this case, it was a gathering for emotional recovery enabled with a creative approach.
“I believe that most people are able to recover from emotional trauma on their own,” said licensed psychologist Dr. Amy Harkins, one of the principal event organizers assisting Cher Binks, who coordinated the effort. “And if you find that you are still reeling with emotional upset one year after Hurricane Harvey, take time to examine what is needed to loosen the grip of anger or terror or grief. It does take courage to face big feelings. Sometimes by making art, by telling your story, you can feel the positive release that is needed.”
On Saturday, residents’ displays told their stories on canvas, with drawings, dance, poetry, ornaments, a teapot and more, their own artistic expressions. Bob and Dianne Wilson (the county’s former, long-time district clerk) also had one to jointly tell with an acrylic painting. Live performances by Payton Lamke and Dean Marino, with original songs that resonated with the audience, a poetry reading by Tracy Banks, a contemporary dance by Beautiful Feet Studio Dancers, and a dramatic poetry reading by Jackson Neal were features of the event.
On this bright, sunny, anniversary of Harvey’s landfall, Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert kicked off the “Fort Bend Recovers with Creativity” presentation. He said an 18-month watershed study for Fort Bend County is underway to determine “where we can wisely improve our drainage system to help avoid damage from another storm like Harvey.”
It was a storm of record, which he surmised only some of the area’s early Indian tribes may have experienced at one time.
“We have to readjust everything we do and everything from an infrastructure standpoint to see how we improve,” said Hebert, who commended Fort Bend Recovers agencies and volunteers for their work in organizing the event.
Christian Bionat, district director from U.S. Rep. Pete Olson’s office, also expressed their support and community encouragement for future undertakings intended for Fort Bend’s recovery.
At the event, some of the recollections about the dreadful time a year ago focused on Judge Hebert as the director of the county’s office of emergency management.
“He remained calm, recited data without a need to drop eye contact with the camera,” Harkins recalled of the judge during the televised announcements. “He was steady as a rock. Humble. Kind. Firm. He was our own trusted and brilliant granddad cowboy.”