Former Valley resident describes chaos as Hurricane Harvey strikes Texas coast

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Stephanie Harris just moved from Visalia to Rockport, Texas last September, only about 30 miles away from Corpus Christi where the Category 4 hurricane has officially made landfall. (KFSN)

People are preparing for the worst as Hurricane Harvey strikes the Texas coast, and even people from the Central Valley are impacted.

Stephanie Harris just moved from Visalia to Rockport, Texas last September, only about 30 miles away from Corpus Christi where the Category 4 hurricane has officially made landfall.

"It's surreal, it really is, it's crazy. I never imagined we'd be dealing with this," she exclaimed.

Harris says the hurricane moved from a Category 1 to Category 4 in what seemed like no time at all. She says on Thursday morning her boss texted her saying she didn't need to come into work so she could prepare to evacuate, and by 10 a.m. that morning, her children's school called saying they were releasing school for the day.

"Confusion, kids are wandering around scared and parents were looking for their kids," she said.

And from there, they went home, packed their car up with what they could and hit the road to escape the life-threatening storm surge.

"As we were packing up yesterday, you could just feel the winds blowing," Harris described. "The air was calm. It started to get real dark."

A few major league baseball players from the Houston Astros have also left the area but are here in Fresno on a rehab assignment. Pitcher Will Harris says he has his teammates on his mind.

"My family got out of town," he said. "They're back home in Louisiana then we got a few guys on the road in LA, their families are left behind just trying to keep tabs with them, make sure everybody is safe."

Now Texans under mandatory evacuations are waiting out the deadly weather conditions - hoping they'll have homes and jobs to return to.

"I don't know what we're going to go home to, I pray to God it's going to be something, that God would just have mercy on what we have," Harris said.

The Red Cross has shelters and volunteers set up in surrounding areas to help Hurricane Harvey victims. Two volunteers from Mariposa just boarded flights to Texas Friday.

"We are fully prepared for a historic disaster response if needed," Jessica Piffero with the Red Cross said.

The Red Cross says the best way for anyone wanting to help disaster relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey is through financial donations which you can do on their website.

Related Topics:
hurricane harveytulare countyVisaliaTexas
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