I never thought I’d have a favorite meteorologist, but I do now. Amidst the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, many heroic servants emerged. I’d like you to meet one—the guy Houstonians fell in love with this past week.
Jeff Lindner looks like the guy you don’t remember. Nothing really stands out about him, even after watching him on TV for days on end. But in crisis? I can’t imagine anyone better.
For a week straight, this meteorologist for the Harris County Flood Control District monitored, reported, and projected the relentless flooding throughout our region. Halfway through, he partnered with the Army Corps of Engineers as they turned their attention to the fast-filling Addicks and Barker reservoirs surrounding our church. Lindner read gauges, monitored levels and conditions, explained maps, announced dam release rates, projected spillovers, corrected rumors, advised mandatory and voluntary evacuations, informed reporters, led news conferences, answered questions, and provided calm leadership throughout a dramatic crisis.
Most of all, Jeff Lindner served as a spokesman for one of the most difficult decisions made throughout Harvey’s rain-spitting rage: the decision to open the reservoir’s dams and send more water into the already-flooded Buffalo Bayou and its surrounding neighborhoods (including our church). In short, this decision flooded one area to protect others, sacrificing a large swath of homes and businesses in order to control water flow and protect the integrity of the strained dams and reservoirs themselves.
Our church is in the neighborhood that’s still badly flooded due to this necessary decision, and I still love Jeff Lindner. Why? The same reasons everyone else in Houston now loves him.
Somehow, he was intelligent without being condescending; he was professional without being sterile; he was nuanced without being verbose; he was simple without being simplistic; he was businesslike without being uncaring; he was factual without being cold; he was exhausted without being irritable; he was besieged with difficult questions without getting frustrated; and he served relentlessly without losing focus. He manned his post, he did his job, and our city knows we were served well. He earned our trust, and our respect.
With little sleep, never leaving the office, with waves of crisis cascading through our city hour by hour, Jeff never wavered. He was professional, respectful, informed, concise, unassuming. We all know that combination’s not easy, and because it’s not easy, it’s rare.
Finally, between Friday, August 25th and Thursday, August 31st—a full week—this public servant slept for a grand total of 7 hours.
Long live the legend of Jeff Lindner, and may his tribe increase.
Below are tweets about Jeff after someone said he was “winning Twitter” and Jeff responded that his surge in followers was “crazy.”
We know we can trust him. He gives researched, accurate information to the best of his ability. He cares about
@JeffLindner1 you’ve kept me sane in Katy / MOST reliable source & leader throughout! You deserve whatever award you are eligible for!
@JeffLindner1 is rock star! Who’s going to miss his briefings once Houston recovers?
Jeff, write a book about this situation and your experience. Seriously. I’d buy the audiobook.
He is winning! People are now asking me “How do I apply for FEMA?” Followed by “Do you know Jeff Lindner?”
You’re seriously doing a fantastic job, both here and on TV.
It’s because you’ve done an amazing job! Way to go!
You are a hero scientist. We appreciate all you have done to help us thru this disaster. I am thankful for your big shiny brain.
You were the most important person in the world to me for a solid three days, and I have never even met you! Gig ‘Em Aggies!
Youve EARNED it. Thanx for all ur updates….
—A. N. Sagar
Hard worker…eased my worries.
We appreciate your honest, straight talk!
I wish his responsibilities grow and he can hire more people like himself to spread news out. One day future POTUS!
Not crazy. You have helped us all by keeping us informed. THANK YOU!
This is amazing. You are affectionately known as The Map Guy, and lots of people hung on your every word. Thanks!! #Harvey #MapGuy
You deserve all the props. You’re doing a great job. I actually quoted you earlier today. “Well, Jeff said…”
Not crazy man, you have been so succinct in your explanations and forecasts! Much respect
Thank you! You became must see tv – brightest guy in Houston
Without folks like you, it would’ve been MORE scary
Fantastic job. You have been direct and honest during this whole process. Thank you to you and your family.
As a scientist living by Buffalo Bayou, your briefings and tweets have been incredibly helpful. A testament to what science is, should be.
@JeffLindner1 you are my
#HarveyHero Thank you for your great work! Praying for you!!
You know your stuff my friend. Nice work!
Excellent professional. The light we trusted in the middle of this chaos. Thank you!!
Heard “the smartest man in the room” more than once when they were about to introduce you.
today Twitter… Tomorrow, Mayor!!!
You have been nothing short of awesome. Thank you!
@JeffLindner1, your explanations are excellent
You’ve done a great job informing us all
Well deserved sir, you have been a beacon of light during and after the storm.
Your info has been incredibly helpful
Appreciate the concise info in time of stress. And an Aggie!
Ha, I joined twitter just to talk to you! All of my years of holding out and you broke me
Couldn’t agree with other comments more. You’ve had the dirty end of the stick from the get-go and handled it with grace. Well done!
You’re going to inspire a lot of young people to go into science.
Been reading your updates forever on KHOU board. You have a nice calm way of getting info to the people. Much respect!
Go fund me already started for a vacation for Jeff! Jeff, please get some sleep.