ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The television has been on all day and all night, and Glover Quin can’t pull himself away. His phone has been going off constantly -- updates from his wife and their kids and other friends and family members he’s thousands of miles away from.
The Detroit Lions safety can only watch now, like millions of other Americans seeing what Hurricane Harvey is doing to the city of Houston. This is personal, though. The 31-year-old makes his offseason home in the city. His wife, Gladys, and their children live there and are in their home -- safe, but unable to do much else due to flooding.
“Oh man, it’s awful. Pictures that I see watching The Weather Channel, all day, all night,” Quin said. “You know, last few nights, I haven’t went to sleep before 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning, watching as much as I can, trying to keep my wife calm. She’s a little overwhelmed. You’ve got everybody that’s seeing it on TV and they are blowing my phone up, blowing her phone up, telling her to leave.
“It’s trying to stay calm through all that, and you’re watching the news and seeing the city flooded and places that you’ve been and areas that you know, like, ‘Wow, oh wow, that water’s really high,’ because you can recognize the area and spots and just seeing overpasses where the water is just up.”
Quin, who grew up in Summit, Mississippi, has been through hurricanes before. His wife, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has not. This is her first real experience with one. So as he’s watching TV and talking on the phone, he has also been the one reminding her of what they need to do and keeping her calm as the hurricane continues to hit.
They had thought of evacuating, but by the time they really considered driving to another city in Texas or getting on a flight to Detroit, it was too late. The roads were likely packed with people having the same idea. They felt their home -- which Quin said is OK -- would be the safest place for now. He said cell phone towers have worked pretty well so far, which has allowed them to stay in communication.
“She’s done a great job dealing with everything, but it’s tough. Like you see, I’ve been on the phone with her at times and all of a sudden the phone hangs up and I get a message, ‘Hey, we had to run to shelter, tornado warning,'" Quin said. “So you look and you see tornadoes popping up everywhere, popping up in areas that you’re familiar with and you know how close it is and how far it is. Some of them pop up and you’re like, ‘OK, that popped up, but it’s a long way away.’
“Some of them pop up and you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s really not that far.’ It’s tough. Just trying to keep her calm and trying to help her get through it, and hopefully I can get down there soon and at least get in. I don’t even know if I can get in.”
As of now, Quin said he has a flight back to Houston booked for Friday -- his original flight home because of the break between the end of the preseason and the start of the regular season. Now, he said, he will try to get back as soon as possible, even if it means missing the team’s final preseason game at Buffalo -- a game he is not expected to play in.
He is one of a handful of Lions with connections to Houston. Lions coach Jim Caldwell said special-teams coach Joe Marciano’s home in Houston is OK but that a lot of homes around his have suffered damage. Starting center Travis Swanson, who grew up in Houston, said his family members who are still in the city are safe and their homes have not been damaged. Same with tight end Eric Ebron, who told ESPN he recently moved to the city, as his girlfriend lives there.
“It’s tough,” Swanson said. “Unfortunately, it’s one of the things that comes with being in that area. You hate to see it. Hopefully, as many people can stay safe as possible.
“But as far as everyone that I know and the area that I grew up, everyone seems OK for now.”