A Victim Of Harvey Describes What It Was Like When Her House Flooded

Marlin Leal, 21, was with her parents, 17-year-old sister and 12-year-old brother this past Saturday night as water started streaming into their home in southeast Houston ― an area devastated by historic rainfall and flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Here’s what she told HuffPost reporter Julia Craven of the ordeal:

We were in our living room looking at how it was outside through our window. We honestly didn’t think it was going to be as bad as it was so we were not as prepared as we should have been. We started getting the flood warning alerts, and noticed that the water outside quickly started rising higher than it usually does.

My parents rushed to the garage to try to go find things that could help stop water from coming in. They ended up using trash bags, a blue tent and cement bags. Once they were done they told us to disconnect everything that was plugged into an outlet. An hour later, our electricity went out.

Once we were done unplugging everything, my sister and I headed to our room and while we were there we noticed water leaking into the house through our room.

We started freaking out and went running to our parents to tell them. That’s when we realized it wasn’t going to be any other storm. This was something serious. We started taking mattresses inside my little brothers room, which was the only room that hadn’t flooded yet, as fast as we could. We tried to put things that were on the floor on top of counters and pack important stuff.

When we were done we sat on the mattresses. We kept looking through the window, hoping it would get better but we’d see the opposite: more rain, more water rising. We decided to gather together and start praying.

A police officer wades through floodwaters in Alvin, Texas, about 25 miles southeast of Houston. (Rick Wilking / Reuters)

We tried to get some sleep but honestly in times like those sleep is the last thing on anyone’s mind. My little brother was the only one that slept. Just before midnight, we noticed water coming inside his room. It rose higher and higher as time went by so my dad tried calling 911, 311 and any other emergency number he could think of, but nobody would answer.

Then he had the idea to take us to the attic. At first we weren’t sure about that. Part of us were scared but, at the same time, we knew that if we stayed downstairs we would end up drowning.

We woke up my little brother and started taking the mattresses all the way to the attic. We also grabbed food,…

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