Water in west Houston neighborhood continues to rise, evacuations continue

People being evacuated in west Houston neighborhood. (KFOX14)

As the water recedes in Houston, the catastrophe is far from over. Along with the loss of life, there is billions of dollars spent in property damage.

The situation in a west Houston neighborhood that was hit hard by Harvey, was made worse by a controlled release from a nearby levee.

People living there, are now dealing with the widespread destruction.

Some carried their belongings in garbage bags. Others walk out empty handed. So many were left stranded by Harvey.

That was the scene most of the day Wednesday. People who stayed behind and sheltered in place for the past four days were rescued by boat.

And the ordeal isn’t over. People like Zavik Stephen will not be able to go to home.

“We can’t go out unless the water goes down and even if the water goes down, you can’t live in that house,” Stephen said.

While the waters started to recede throughout much of Houston, in the Kingwood area, the water is actually on the rise.

Swollen rivers and streams continue to put pressure on nearby dams and levees.

Most of the residents evacuated from the neighborhood before the storm hit but some stayed behind, taking refuge on the upper floors.

Wednesday, many of those who chose to stay behind finally chose to evacuate but that meant getting rescued by volunteer boats.

Quin Bryan is a former El Pasoan who now lives in nearby Katy.

“There’s probably 100 boats in there picking people out left and right,” Bryan said.

He was one of the many volunteers helping to launch rescue missions.

"These guys are what ya'll call first responders, real people, not going to stay at home anymore, they're gone come out here and do what needs to be done; it's thick as thieves in there. There's boats everywhere,” Bryan said.

A lot of the people helping with rescues are from out of town. But not Donovan Campbell. The former Marine captain lives in Houston.

“People were hanging out of second story window screaming, ‘Save us we have a pregnant woman.’ It was like a scene from hell,” Campbell said.

Campbell said he helped people evacuate during the height of the storm. Several days later, he is still helping neighbors who remained trapped by the devastating flood. “I’ve done two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan and this ranks up there. Not as bad as combat, but not too far off.”

Now it’s a waiting game for residents. No one knows exactly when they’ll be able to return home, most of which are extensively damaged.

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