Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Jonathon Simmons, who spent two productive seasons with the San Antonio Spurs before signing with the Orlando Magic this summer, is a Houston native, and he was in town when Hurricane Harvey hit. Like millions of other South Texas residents, he was forced to evacuate his home due to the flooding caused by the hurricane, and he spoke with the Magic’s official website about the ordeal.

He said he remembered his mom stocking their fridge before hurricanes as a kid, and he left his condo in downtown Houston earlier than recommended to be safe, fleeing for a friend’s house in nearby Richmond. They had food for three days, but people kept coming over, since the house was on a hill:

“Saturday night it started raining about 8 o’clock, but we had gotten over there about 3 o’clock just to be safe,’’ Simmons recalled on Wednesday morning. ``I had bought all of these air mattresses and covers and blankets and food and water for everybody. We were good for three days, but my other friend’s house had started getting flooded early, so he came there to the house, too. So that gave us another 11 extra people and most of them were kids. We had to let the kids eat first, so most of the last two days it was kind of rough (without food).”

[...]

“I ate a pack of ramen noodles and that’s all for like a day-and-a-half.”

The house never flooded, although water came within 10 feet of the front door, so they were forced to evacuate. Local rapper Trae Tha Truth scooped them up in his boat, although that was just the start of their journey:

``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 recalled. ``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 said that his family were all safe, and that he and his friends were among the lucky ones who were able to make it out quickly. Thousands have been displaced by the Hurricane Harvey, and if you want to help out the relief effort, here’s a good place to learn more about the organizations doing important work in Houston.

[Orlando Magic]