ALLEN PARK >> Glover Quin was at the Lions practice facility Sunday, but his heart was in Houston.
Quin’s wife Gladys and their three sons are riding out Tropical Storm Harvey, the floods and tornadoes at their home in the Houston suburb of Richmond.
They are safe for now.
“Our house, we’re located kind of up a little bit. Our house is out of the floodplain but the streets we travel on are not,’’ ‘Quin said. “She’s probably trapped in the house a few days before I go down, the streets are flooded but at least they’re safe in the house.’’
Gladys went out in the backyard to take pictures of all the water in a field and wooded area behind the house — home to cows, farm animals and plenty of wildlife including deer and coyotes.
“She said she was hearing stuff and didn’t know what it was. Then she paid more attention and said, ‘I’ve never heard animals cry like that.’ It’s tough,’’ Quin said.
He has been on the phone with her day and night to help keep her calm. At this point it’s his only option.
“She’s a little overwhelmed. You’ve got everybody seeing it on TV, they’re blowing up my phone, they’re telling her to leave. You’re trying to stay calm through all that. You’re watching the news and seeing the city flooded and places that you’ve been and areas you know and go, ‘Oh wow that water is really high’ because you can recognize the area and the spot. … It’s sad.’’
It’s difficult for the veteran safety to maintain his focus on football.
“It’s tough, it’s tough because, at least for me, I want to be there, helping keeping calm, all those things. All I can do is sit here and keep her calm and explain things,’’ Quin said.
“I grew up in Mississippi so I’ve dealt with hurricanes and water. I try to keep her calm and keep letting her know the game plan. There’s been some long nights, staying up, making sure that they’re good. She’s done a great job,” he added.
She’s from Albuquerque so the conditions are all new to her.
“I’ve been on the phone several times and all of a sudden the phone hangs up and I get a message, ‘We had to run to the shelter – tornado warning.’ Tornadoes popping up everywhere,’’ Quin said.
Gladys and the boys are more fortunate than many in the Houston area. Their power is on although it has blinked on and off. Quin hesitated when asked if she had enough food and water.
“When you get to this point you just start eating everything you can. Sometimes you survive off tortilla, chips, dry cereal whatever you have,’’ Quin said.
Quin already had booked a flight for Houston on Friday because the team has a few days off after the final preseason game on Thursday. If he can go earlier, he will. He said he’s had conversations with coach Jim Caldwell. As a starter, he’s unlikely to play in Thursday’s game anyways.
He’s just hoping the airports will be open.
“If I get down there and can land, but the roads (are still flooded) or stuff, I’ll have to get a helicopter to drop me off in the backyard,’’ Quin said.
It’s easy to second-guess why many Texans didn’t evacuate. But for many — like Gladys — the timing didn’t make sense.
“At the time, due to the reporting, when it was the (best) possible time to evacuate it was too late as far as flights and trying to get to the airport and get out,’’ Quin said. “Then when you go to drive? Where do you drive to? Everybody’s driving to Dallas or Austin. Do you go out on a limb?’’
He’s thankful the cell towers are holding up and that things are not worse for his family.
Still, it’s not an easy time for him.
“I’d go back right now if I could,’’ Quin said.