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

UPDATE: Accident closes Hwy 22 near Castlegar

Highway not expected to reopen until Sunday.

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Métis Flag flies in Trail on Louis Riel Day

Area students, officials and public attend flag raising at Trail City Hall

Early Trail borrowed a couple of names from the U.S.

Place Names: Connection between Trail and Butte, Montana

First Past the Post is the only option

Letter to the Editor by Dieter Bogs of Trail

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read