Flood victims find comfort in Jersey Village shelter

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JERSEY VILLAGE, TX– You wouldn’t know it by strolling down Jersey Drive in Jersey Village late Monday afternoon, but it had been underwater just a few hours earlier.

“It was just like three in the morning. My little brother always goes to the restroom in the morning,” explains Rodolfo Fuentes whose family was flooded out. “All I heard was just him screaming, and I went and looked and my room was filled with water.”

And when he says filled, he ain’t kidding! “A good 14 inches,” he explains. “Yeah. It was bad.”

Rodolfo and his family had to be rescued on a fire truck, just like Shirley Sawyer, a resident of Bear Creek. “When the water started coming to my second stair, getting ready to come upstairs,” says Sawyer, “that’s when I called the fire department to come get me out.”

The blankets she threw down to soak up the floodwaters just weren’t doing it. And then she saw the bayou out back, “I looked out the window one time, and it was going downstream. And I looked again, and it was coming upstream. And I knew we were in trouble.

Thankfully, the Jersey Village Baptist Church opened its doors to offer Shirley and others food, shelter and a place to stay.

“Come in the front door. We’ll check you in, find you a place to sleep,” explains Marty Samson, a volunteer with the Cy-Fair Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). “We’ve got cots that the Red Cross people have delivered here, and they’re welcome to stay all night.”

But not everyone did. “Many people have come and gone today,” says Samson, “because they’ve been picked up by friends or relatives.”

Wendy Johnson was one of those. She got six inches of water in her home, but that wasn’t the biggest worry the wheelchair-bound Johnson had last night, “I panicked with a broken leg and an 89-year-old mom.”

Thankfully, they made it out safe and will stay with friends, friends like Rebecca Perkinson, who’s opening her home to another flood family. “We’re just trying to help out by bringing them to our place and giving them dry shelter and giving them a place to stay for a few days until they can get to their house,” she says.

For Jersey Village resident Susan Gilbert, this wasn’t her first flood… or her second… or even her third. But it might just be her last in her home of 21 years. “After being flooded four times,” explains Gilbert, “FEMA might actually buy us out and tells us they’re not gonna cover us anymore… But it’s still a good place. We love it.”

Positivity in the face of hard times. “The material things you can always get again, but your life,” points out Sawyer, “you only have one.”

A truth bomb from someone who waded through the waters… and survived the flood.

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