Magic guard Jonathon Simmons had to “ride a boat, walk through muddy water and ride on the back of a dumpster truck,” while at times carrying a child, to escape during Harvey.
With his hometown under water as the deadly storm wreaked havoc on Houston, Simmons says he’s trying to focus on the generosity he’s seen and experienced over the last few days.
“It’s devastating,” said Simmons, who signed with Orlando after playing two seasons in San Antonio. “Luckily, none of my family was seriously affected, but I see a lot of my friends suffering and that’s difficult. But I’m also proud of how the city of Houston has come together to help one another. On the upside and the brighter side, there’s that seeing how people have been there to help one another.”
Simmons told the Magic’s offical website that he left his high-rise condo to head to a friend’s house in Richmond, Tx. on Saturday, with air mattresses, blankets, food and water in tow. However, more and more people seeking shelter began to show up.
“So that gave us another 11 extra people and most of them were kids,” Simmons said. “We had to let the kids eat first, so most of the last two days it was kind of rough (without food).
“There was at least 20 people in the house and probably eight of them were kids,” Simmons added. “When I was little, my mom always kept the fridge full of stuff (during hurricanes). This time, I ate a pack of ramen noodles and that’s all for like a day and a half.”
Although the house never lost power and water didn’t seep inside, when food ran low, Simmons knew they needed to leave. That’s when rapper Trae the Truth helped them safely escape on Tuesday.
“Trae the Truth, the rapper, is from Houston and we know a mutual friend from San Antonio. They brought a boat to Houston because (Trae) had to evacuate as well,” Simmons told the website. “They came and got (Trae) and then he came and got us right away. Luckily, I had a friend in the area who could help us out.”
Simmons, who still hasn’t been able to return to his condo in downtown Houston, described a harrowing journey to get through the flood waters as a result of the hurricane.
“We still had to ride a boat, walk through muddy water and ride on the back of a dumpster truck for like five miles. It was crazy,” Simmons said. “I had to hold up my people and I had some kids with me. Most of the kids were old enough to walk, but one of them I had to carry with me.”
Simmons says he plans on returning the favor to Houston residents by donating his time and money to give back and help rebuild the city.
As of Thursday morning, at least 31 people are confirmed dead as a result of the storm.