Vernon’s Melissa Overend shares photos from Hurricane Harvey. Image credit: Facebook

B.C. teacher trapped by Hurricane Harvey

Vernon Christian School teacher Melissa Overend was in Texas when the storm struck

A Vernon teacher was visiting family in Houston, Texas when she was caught in the middle of Hurricane Harvey.

Melissa Overend (or Mrs. Overend to her students at Vernon Christian School,) was deep in the heart of Texas when the storm struck.

She is a Texan who now loves living in Vernon. She had flown down to her hometown of Houston for her sister’s wedding.

“Unexpectedly, and at times incredibly frightening, I have found myself experiencing this devastation with millions of others,” wrote Overend, who added she was meant to be home on Sunday but her flights keep getting cancelled.

“Despite being overwhelmed by the destruction of many, many Houstonian homes, and the impact this trauma will have on Houstonian lives in the months to come, I see God’s arms lovingly holding these people close and placing his workers throughout the city to help them.

“Seeing lives being saved, people helping people, rescues by Good Samaritans, the coast guard, fire and rescue, police and other city workers alike in action. I’m glad to be here: to be alive and well and with my Texan family.”

Related: Canadian expats hunker down as remnants of hurricane Harvey ravage Texas

Overend explains that there are millions of people in Houston alone.

“It’s not hard to do some math and realize from TV images alone how a million homes could easily have been affected by this storm. Easy. I deeply ache for those who lost their lives or homes,” she continued.

“Like the constant, heart-pounding dreadful sound of rain that has etched a path in many of our minds here these past four days, one cannot escape seeing the destruction.”

She said that the media is not sensationalizing this story and that what you see is an accurate portrayal.

“The persistent rain and flooding, people being trapped and rescued, countless tornado warnings are TRUE and REAL. Annual rainfall averages fell only in a matter of a few days.”

She said she has been inspired by the acts of kindness and help that she has witnessed in so many ways,. Her own sister used her phone and Facebook to arrange rescue boats and work with the community to help in anyway she could.

“Countless people are in this spontaneous, civilian relief effort to help and support others escape rising waters and reach dry shelters,” added Overend.

“From boat rescues, delivering water, supplies and toiletries, to offering car rides to total strangers, these people are giving of themselves to serve others.”

Overend said she is “thankful to the Lord” that her family is all safe and that every day it feels like her eyes are playing tricks on her as she looks out to see her hometown under water.


 

@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Vernon’s Melissa Overend shares photos from Hurricane Harvey. Image credit: Facebook

Vernon’s Melissa Overend shares photos from Hurricane Harvey. Image credit: Facebook

Just Posted

5 family-friendly events happening in Ladysmith this weekend

Wounded Warriors run stops in Ladysmith Get ready to cheer on the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Stolen pickup truck recovered during arrest south of Nanaimo

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a stolen pickup truck in Cassidy on Thursday evening

Adopted pet pig gets killed and eaten

Animal was adopted out by SPCA staff in the Cowichan Valley

Driver charged in two-vehicle crash on highway north of Ladysmith

Passenger in Volkswagen Jetta transported to hospital with minor injuries

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

The way government learn someone has died is getting a digital overhaul

Governments in Canada turned to private consultants 2 years ago to offer blueprint

Bobsleigh team misses Olympic medal finish

Canadian team finishes four-man event 0.84 seconds behind first place, 0.31 seconds from podium

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Minor injuries after car veers into Courtenay dance studio

A driver and passenger were taken to hospital after their vehicle crashed… Continue reading

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

Snowboarding debuts at B.C. Games

Merren deBellefeuille was lone Vancouver Island (Zone 6) athlete in ladies’ snowboard cross

Most Read