Zach Knowles still hasn’t seen his house since Hurricane Harvey struck his hometown of Houston, Texas. He’s expecting the worst when he finally does.
Knowles had a race at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida last Friday when the storm hit. He knew that day that things were bad. It was on his mind all day long. Except for when he put his helmet on. Then he felt like things might be alright.
He finished a strong sixth-place on Friday night in the Allen Turner Pro Late Model 100-lap feature. It was the last brief moment of positivity he had before everyone’s attention shifted back towards Hurricane Harvey that was in the process of decimating the Houston area with high winds, torrential rainfall and historic flooding.
In the days since the storm hit a week ago, Knowles and his race team have stayed in Pensacola, Biloxi, Mississippi, and Rusk, Texas, but not yet Houston. I-10, the interstate highway that Gulf Coast racers frequently travel to and from races, has been under water with white-capped waves as far as the eye can see instead of gridlocked traffic and tail lights.
Knowles said he’s been feeling two different feelings since leaving Pensacola. He’s felt helpless, and he’s felt sick. Helpless because his friends and family need help and he hasn’t been there for them. Sick because he knows that life as he’s known it has most likely been forever altered because of Hurricane Harvey.
“It has brought tremendous devastation to my family and I not being there to help friends and families as I feel helpless on not being able to get back home and help save lives and put comfort back into people’s mind. I can’t imagine what people are going through and that just tears me up inside that I’m not there to help,” Knowles said via text message with Speed51.com.
“I’m praying for all the families out there that have lost everything.”
At this point, that’s been about all Knowles can do as he and his race team continue to try to navigate their way back home.
Fortunately, Harvey has finally moved out of the Gulf region. The flood waters have begun to pour into Galveston Bay and back into the Gulf of Mexico.
Soon Knowles and thousands of others should be able to make their way back home to see what they have left. Soon the cleanup and the recovery will begin, but it will be a long road ahead for many.
To help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, we encourage you to donate to the American Red Cross’ relief efforts. You can do so by texting HARVEY to 90999 or by visiting the American Red Cross’ website.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos