Canadian expats hunker down as remnants of hurricane Harvey ravage Texas

The hurricane has battered the southern U.S. for days

Hurricane Harvey has flooded parts of Texas. (Canadian Press photo)

Canadian expats living in Texas said they’ve gone days without sleep as the remnants of hurricane Harvey continue to deluge the southeast coast Sunday.

Megan Giffin-Scheffers, who moved from Halifax to Houston four years ago, said “everything is overflowing” in the Texas city, which is the fourth-largest in the U.S., as rising waters force thousands of people out of their homes.

Giffin-Scheffers, a mother of three, said she hasn’t slept properly in two days as she and her husband take shifts on the lookout for signs of danger.

Every time her phone lights up with a tornado alert, her family has to hunker down in their pantry as wind gusts howl through the city like ”freight trains,” she said.

“As Canadians … I don’t think we really understood the impact of a hurricane,” Giffin-Scheffers said in a phone interview. “I’m homesick every single day, and when something like this happens, that’s just when I want to pack up and move back.”

Canadian astronaut Joshua Kutryk, who is training in Houston, posted photos to social media of neighbourhoods flooded with murky waters that almost fully submerged a car.

“Feeling like an ant in an anthill today, here by the grace of Mother Nature,” he tweeted. ”Sometimes we get stepped on.”

Isabelle Dion, who is from Saint-Césaire, Que., says her home in Houston has been spared from damage, but it’s scary not to know what will happen when night falls.

“Imagine a shower that’s full capacity and it never stops,” said Dion. “Tornado warnings, and tornado warnings. Every five minutes of the night your cell phone goes on, and it’s very difficult.”

Canadian engineer Raihan Khondker said his family safely left their home in southeastern Texas, but he returned to the Bay City area as part of a support team at a nuclear power plant.

For three days, Khondker, who is from Toronto, has been working tirelessly to manage “one thing after another,” driving through water-choked streets to help out where he can.

Khondker said houses in his neighbourhood have been turned “upside down,” and rising waters in a nearby river threaten to send a potentially catastrophic flood into the area.

“Every single creek in the neighbourhood is full,” he said. ”There is an imminent flood coming to Bay City, we just don’t know how much water we are going to see.”

Harvey slammed into Texas as a Category-4 hurricane Friday and has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, which is causing torrential rains.

— With files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Chilliwack prolific offender charged in four alleged incidents in 12 days

Branden Tanner busted for alleged smash-and-grab Nov. 30, then incidents Dec. 3, Dec. 8 and Dec. 11

Four companies vying to open cannabis stores in locations across Chilliwack

Rezoning applications for non-medical cannabis outlets pending, and some will require variances

Christmas cheer, crafts and music at Chilliwack and Yarrow libraries

Make festive ornaments out of old books while enjoying Christmas music at Chilliwack libraries

Sardis Falcons top Heritage Woods in field lacrosse opener

The Falcons rallied from a halftime hole to take a big win on the road in Port Moody.

Fleeing driver picks fight with Chilliwack police dog, loses

Good dog ‘Griff’ also locates large quantity of what police believe to be crystal meth in Abbotsford

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

MAP: Christmas light displays in the Lower Mainland

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Most Read