A week ago, Summer Walter planned to fly to Maryland on her own as her daughter prepared to give birth, but all that changed with Hurricane Harvey.
"We received word that it was going to turn into a bad hurricane and by the time it reached a Cat 4, we had decided. There was no way I could leave my husband and my girls behind,” said Walter. “So we decided to make the drive up here instead."
The Walter family left their home in Fannett, Texas, about 15 miles outside of Beaumont, and held their collective breath as more than four feet of rain pelted the area they had left behind.
"Up until yesterday morning, a lot of them were saying there was no water in our houses, which is kind of strange because we are in a flood zone. We were required to have flood insurance. So it was kind of like, 'Thank God! By the Grace of God, it kept it dry,'” said Summer’s husband, Jaso. “And then a levee broke yesterday about 1 p.m. I think and a big 30-foot section ripped right open and they had an emergency evacuation to get everyone out."
Friends sent them a photo that captures the extent of the flooding in their neighborhood, anywhere from a foot to a few feet of water depending on the home.
"The main roads to get to us were flooded,” said Jason. “They actually had to come in in air boats or the little John boats, the aluminum boats, to get people out."
Friends, family and total strangers here in Maryland are picking up the cost of a trailer to be filled with donated water and cleaning supplies that the family will pull behind them as they return to their Texas home.
"Very nervous. It's unknowing. What are we going to experience when we get home? What kind of shape is our home going to be in?" said Summer. "It's very disheartening and feeling helpless that we're up here and our friends and neighbors are down there having to deal with it until we get home."
On a happy note, Summer Walter's daughter gave birth to a healthy seven pound, 11 ounce baby girl earlier this week providing a cause for celebration even as they worried about their home, their friends and their neighbors back in Texas.