Houston devastation very personal for Lewis

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Stacy Lewis’ home in Houston is fine, so far.

She and her husband, University of Houston women’s golf coach Gerrod Chadwell, purchased their home in Northeast Houston about a year-and-a-half ago, but her heart has been there a lot longer than that, which makes watching what’s happening to her hometown so difficult.

Lewis was at the Solheim Cup two weeks ago, and in Ottawa playing the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open last week when the forecasts back home turned dire. She’s at the Cambia Portland Classic this week, anxiously following reports of the epic rainfall in Houston, and the flooding there, from afar.

“It’s awful,” Lewis told GolfChannel.com. “I’m getting updates, but it’s a pretty helpless feeling. It’s hard to see the pictures, to imagine being there and seeing all of that water. It’s unimaginable.”

Lewis moved to the Houston area when she was 11. Her parents, Dale and Carol, are still in the home where she grew up in The Woodlands, about 45 minutes from where she and Gerrod live now. Her parents’ home is fine, too, so far, but neighborhoods around her parents’ home are flooding.

“They have friends in neighborhoods around The Woodlands who are evacuating,” Lewis said.

There is up to 15 more inches of rain predicted over the next couple days.

“My family’s gotten pretty lucky,” Lewis said. “We are good, so far, but we have two more days of rain coming. I think our house, where it is, will be OK when we are all said and done. I’m just more concerned about Gerrod and his team. His girls are going to be impacted longer than we will.”

Stacy has been on the phone regularly with Gerrod, who was at their Houston home until Tuesday, when he left to drive north on Highway 45, taking his UH women’s golf team with him to Dallas to set up a temporary base. The University of Houston campus is closed, with parts of the campus flooded. Two hundred stranded students were rescued from rising waters there on Monday.

“It’s all I’ve done since last Friday is worry about it, worry about Gerrod, my parents, our house and the city,” Lewis said. “It’s hard to be where you are and focus.”

Gerrod moved players to his and Stacy’s home for safety when school closed on Friday, just five days after the fall semester started. Gerrod was part of a rescue mission to the Golf Club of Houston, where the team facility and offices are based. The course flooded in the weekend rains.

“There’s a huge bayou that runs through that course,” Lewis said. “Gerrod and the men’s coach and some others had to take kayaks in to get to their facility. They said they pulled out about $100,000 of equipment, electronics, and they got the kids’ golf clubs.”

The Golf Club of Houston is also home to Lewis, who practices there and at Bluejack National, which she hears hasn’t been as adversely impacted.

Lewis isn’t sure when she will get home. She’s scheduled to play the Indy Women in Tech Championship in Indianapolis next week, and she isn’t sure if she will be able to fly into Houston before that.

“Everything is up in the air right now,” Lewis said. “We will see what happens in the next few days. There are a lot of unknowns.”

In the meantime, Lewis is doing what she can, including supporting University of Houston basketball coach Kelvin Sampson’s creative shoes and shirts relief effort. Sampson’s effort is explained here

When the Cambria Portland Classic begins Thursday, Lewis will be there, but part of her will be in Houston, too.