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

Vernon 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

Okanagan residents can win ride in army vehicle

A social media campaign offers the chance to win a ride in the Dragoons armoured vehicle

Reel Reviews: War from both sides of the desk

We say, “Forgive these films their faults and they will be entertaining enough.”

Residents should keep air intakes clear of snow

Silver Star Fire Department is encouraging residens to keep their air intakes clear after snowfall

Provincial program offers assistance to agricultural producers

AgriStability Enhancement Program benefits agricultural producers who saw an income decline in 2017

‘Backs game cancelled due to weather

Match-up against Merritt called off as heavy snow creates treacherous roads

PHOTOS: Icing the competition

Skate Canada 2018 Okanagan Regional Championships skated through Vernon this weekend

Street Sounds: Rolling with the Stones

The Stones’ On Air is a blast from the past in every sense

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.

VIDEO: Protesters rally for affordable housing ahead of B.C. budget

Residents call on province to keep locals housed

Update: Highway 97C reopened following multi-vehicle incident

Highway 97C is closed to eastbound traffic near Pennask Summit following an incident Sunday afternon

Brakemen pulling out all the stops for 2018

Kettle Valley Brakemen planning some surprises

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

DRAWL searches for Okanagan Valley accent

UBC study wants to hear from Okanagan residents

Most Read