WNY natives caught in Harvey's path

Posted at 6:45 PM, Aug 28, 2017

Laurie Smith from Clarence found herself in South Texas as Hurricane Harvey made landfall. She was visiting her daughter in Pecan Grove, a community about 30 miles southwest of Houston.

"I'm really nervous," she said Monday. "And really scared."

7 Eyewitness News first spoke with Smith as she was told to evacuate the area. She said the Brazos River looked like it would flow over a levee and pour into her daughter's backyard. At the time, she wasn't sure how to leave with so many roads nearby underwater.

"We don't know if we can get there but my daughter's friend has offered us shelter and that's where we're going to go," Smith explained. "It's about 10 miles away. We're hoping to get there."

Smith and her family were eventually able to leave and made it safely to that friend's home in Katy, TX Monday afternoon. According to Smith, they took the drive slowly and many of the roads along the way were under "deep water".

Melanie and Dale Deaeth are from Tonawanda, but now live in Brenham, TX about 80 miles northwest of Houston.

"It kind of reminds me of getting cabin fever back home," Dale said. Being stuck inside during Harvey was similar, in a sense, to what he experienced with WNY snow storms growing up.

But both Dale and Melanie agree, this flooding is far worse than anything they've ever seen before.

"Flooding, to me, is so much more damaging than snow," Dale said. "I'm a lot more nervous in these situations than I was back home."

"Water is strong," Melanie said. "When that water comes it will take your house away. It will take your roads away. It will take bridges down."

As of Monday, the Deaeth's hadn't been asked to evacuate. But, they are planning for that possibility should the rains continue to fall.

For Michael Sullivan, who was born in West Seneca, it's flood waters all around.

"People are coming out with their jetskis, boats and anything they can to rescue people," he said. "People are stranded on their roofs."

Sullivan says if you can even find a grocery store that's open, it's about a three hour wait to get in, and most are either closed or close early.