Former Students Help Local GVSU Professor Following Hurricane Harvey

Sep 22, 2017

Students help with hurricane relief
Credit GVSU Communications

A Grand Valley State University Professor was able to breathe a sigh of relief after former GVSU students in Houston came to the rescue. A group of Grand Valley alumni lent a helping hand after the fellow Laker’s childhood home was devastated by flooding during Hurricane Harvey.

“I don’t know how to thank them enough. I’m glad, GV produces such great students. Feel like I’m lucky to be a part of that. And former students, reaffirmed my choice of profession, that’s for sure.”

History professor Scott Stabler is reflecting on the caring and kind nature of his former students who live in Houston.  His childhood home where his mom had lived for 52 years was flooded during Hurricane Harvey.  She had just moved to Colorado, two weeks before the Hurricane hit.

“First time it ever flooded in 54 years that the house existed and it got about 8 inches of water in it. And my mom doesn’t carry flood insurance because it never flooded before. She lives pretty close to a  bayou which then overflowed all through the back of  my childhood neighborhood and really created a disaster.”

To make matters worse, Stabler says the home was set to be sold on Friday, but the Hurricane came in on Tuesday.  He was preparing to make his way there to salvage the home from mold and other issues, when he contacted a fellow Laker.

“And then I explained to them what I was trying to do and he told me, well, I’m sitting here with Kelly, who was also a former student and we’ve been gutting houses for days and we’ll go gut your mother’s house. No problem. And the house, it took three days after I made the calls, the water had left the house, but they had to walk a quarter mile in waist deep water just to get to the house and gut it.”

Stabler says about 4-5 former students helped in the process. The home was set to be sold “as is” last week, but he says that hasn’t happened as yet. He says they do have an interested party, but no contract.

He says it’s sad for his mom, who’s taking a huge financial loss on the property, however, he adds, it could’ve been worse.