CYPRESS, Texas (NEWS CENTER) -- The images coming out of Texas during hurricane Harvey are hard to wrap your head around -- however, it's the photos and videos being posted by my family members that truly hit home.
My aunt Rowena, I call her auntie Ro, moved to the Houston area 23 years ago. She has experienced a number of hurricanes over the years, even hurricane Gloria when it hit Maine back in 1985. Since she has been in Texas she's seen hurricane Rita, Allison and Ike -- however Harvey is the first storm that has directly impacted her. Auntie Ro and her husband recently built their home in Bridgeland, which is a non-flood plain in Houston. They live in Cypress, a city just north of Houston. "We're just really surprised," Rowena said. "We saw some puddling in the evening time and when Uncle John woke up around 4 a.m there was water up to the bottom step and now there is water up to the second step downstairs." My cousin Alexis is also in town visiting them.
I was able to see just what she was talking about through video chat. The moment she stepped outside the wind stared howling. When she showed me the water she was wading through it was up to her knees. "In some areas the winds are 80, 90 miles per hour," Rowena said as she stepped out onto her porch. "The flooding is pretty bad but we are very fortunate because we have a two story patio."
The water has not yet crept into the home but they have all their furniture on blocks in case it does. Authorities have told people to stay in their homes and not ask for help unless they are in a dire situation, which would be at least several feet of water in their home. "We are going to wait until the water actually gets up to our front door and then we are going to hoist the furniture upstairs." Rowena said.
There are two local reservoirs in the area, one of them was released around midnight Monday. That means they are releasing more water into neighborhoods in hopes of saving more home around the area. "There have been a lot of people from up north and out west that have showed up to rescue people in their boats," Rowena said. There are many people in the area that had their transformers blow, my aunt still has her power but says the lights have been flickering. They made sure to have a generator handy in case the lights do go out and have plenty of food and water.
"We will be ok, I know we will." Rowena said.