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 trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Barry Neufeld, a representative for the BCSTA, published the comments on his Facebook page

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

VIDEO: Another car torched in Langley after Surrey shooting

A Jeep was found engulfed in flames in Willoughby Monday morning, after two men were shot in Surrey.

Mother bear attacks Mission woman, conservation officer

Animal charged, knocked down and bit conservation officer before being pushed off and shot

Ex-employee describes alleged sexual assault by Pitt Meadows councillor

Complainant was a teen during the alleged 1992 incident

WATCH: Speedskaters race at Langley Sportsplex

The first big local meeting of the season drew 105 skaters.

Ferries re-routed due to fluid spill at Nanaimo’s Duke Point

At least one sailing from Tsawwassen to Duke Point was redirected to Departure Bay

Good spirit in youth soccer

Aldergrove Youth and Langley United U11 Girls

ABC wins defensive juggernaut to improve to .500 on the season

Aldergrove Basketball Club’s Junior Boys won a defensive gem 35-31 against Abbotsford McGeez

Chilliwack homeless camp dismantled on Monday

Mostly co-operative group emerged from the woods with possessions and dispersed

Aldergrove Kodiaks finally take a win

PJHL action sees Kodiaks down Surrey Knights 5-3

B.C. couple hope boat drone becomes first to cross Atlantic

Colin and Julie Angus of Victoria to have drone collect environmental data en route

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Amazon gets 238 proposals for 2nd headquarters

Submissions were due last week. Online retailer has said tax breaks and grants would be factors

Most Read