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

B.C. Family Day to move to third week in February next year

Premier John Horgan said the move is to better align the holiday with businesses and families

B.C. Health Minister announces plan for new hospital in Terrace

“This means more beds, a level three trauma centre, better surgery and better care,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

B.C. to increase minimum wage to $15.20/hour in 2021

Premier John Horgan says next increase will come in June

$2.5M project underway at BC Ferries terminal in Bella Coola

Construction has started in the $2.5M project to modify the berth at Bella Coola

Winter storm warning issued for the B.C. Interior

Upwards of 50 centimetres of snow could fall over the next two days

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C. man brings dog to court as ‘best witness’

Man is defending himself on charges of uttering threats, possessing weapon for dangerous purposes

Vancouver artist’s cartoon of Florida school shooting resonates

Cartoon shows football coach, one of the victims, meeting others killed in school shootings

Trudeau family arrives in India for state visit

Seven-day visit includes meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Military seeks DNA experts to help ID missing war dead

Federal program recovers, identifies and arranges burials for Canada’s nearly 28,000 missing war dead

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Reports of money laundering in B.C. real estate ‘troubling’: attorney general

News report alleges people connected to fentanyl trade are using B.C. real estate to launder money

Most Read