For Houston resident Barbara Davis, Hurricane Harvey ruined more than just her carpet. It also ruined her wedding dress, but a kind soul rescued it from being forgotten in a landfill.
Davis was married in Corpus Christi in 1959. She had always hoped one of her two daughters would choose to wear her dress when they got married.
“It’s almost unbelievable that I have had held on to this for so long,” she told KHOU. “It’s just something you don’t throw away.”
When it was damaged in the flooding from Hurricane Harvey, Davis thought it was lost forever. The dress ended up on the trash pile outside her Houston home.
“I had always wanted my daughters or granddaughters at some point to wear my wedding dress, so I said, ‘OK, that’s over with.'”
After having second thoughts about throwing the dress away, Davis sent one of her daughters out to look for the discarded dress. Sadly, it was nowhere to be found. That’s because a neighbor, Monica Modelska, had spotted the stained dress and saved it from the trash pile with the intention of preserving it.
“My friend and I were kind of going through the neighborhood. Looking around, looking at all the devastation and all the furniture strewn about,” Modelska said to KHOU. “For me, that dress could be in a museum or it could go to Houston Community College to teach future students about dressmaking,” she said.
When Modelska got word that Davis was looking for the dress, she got in touch with her and arranged to return it.
“I didn’t know where it was going to end up necessarily, but thank God they called me back and they were like, ‘Ahh!'”
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, you can’t drive through Houston without seeing massive heaps of flood-damaged belongings destined for the landfill. Water-damaged homes begin to mold and smell almost immediately. So residents in affected areas had to move fast to get the wet things outside to avoid getting sick.
Piles of carpet and ruined furniture fill yards and spill into the streets in anticipation of removal by the city. The pure volume of things being tossed out means that it might be weeks before the piles will be gone. In Davis’s case, that delay saved her wedding dress.
“I think you’re seeing it on every corner, every corner,” Davis said. “I can’t believe a total stranger would do something like that.”