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

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with northern B.C. First Nations governments

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Terrace husband and wife honoured for saving each other’s lives

BC Ambulance presented each a Vital Link Award for separate incidents of CPR

$15 million spent on cancelled transmition line

BC Hydro had already spent approximately $15 million on planning a new… Continue reading

New funding available for industry innovation

Northern Development Initiative Trust opened new funds, focused on areas impacted by the pine beetle

Former resident wins filmmaking award

Veronika Kurz will be able to make her film with $15,000 cash and in-kind services, up to $100,000

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Whistler role in potential Calgary Olympic bid would be welcome: IOC

Calgary is mulling whether to vie for the 2026 Games, and could look to facilities in B.C.

Food industry failing at voluntary sodium reduction: Health Canada

Health Canada report shows the food industry made no meaningful progress in curtailing salt levels

Most Read