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Moncton woman living in Houston recounts Hurricane Harvey, braces for more rain

Flooded areas of Houston are pictured in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Flooded areas of Houston are pictured in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Courtesy: John Mangogna

With the United States’ fourth-largest city still largely paralyzed in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a Houston resident, originally from Moncton, says though her townhouse has not been submerged or seen significant damage, she and her family are still on edge.

Melanie Daigle, 27, moved to just outside of Houston in 2012 pursuing a job opportunity and while there also met her fiance Amro Farrag, 27.

Since moving to the city, she said she’s experienced a few major flooding issues in the past including Memorial Day. But as Hurricane Harvey blew its way into town, she said it was an experience she had never been through before.

“We’ve seen torrential downpours, strong winds, and then sometimes it will ease up,” she said. “Every time we turn around there’s something new leaking, there’s some water coming in, but we are not nearly as bad as some of my friends who are a mile, mile-and-a-half down the road whose houses are completely submerged.”

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Former Moncton resident Melanie Daigle is pictured in her home in Houston, Texas.
Former Moncton resident Melanie Daigle is pictured in her home in Houston, Texas. Skype/Global News

Daigle’s home is not submerged, instead, seeing more leaks in the attic and from windows but she said there is no water on the floor in their three-floor home.

WATCH: Dramatic video from Hurricane Harvey aftermath

Yet some of her friends have had to be evacuated, others have seen their homes fill halfway with water and a few are completely submerged.

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Her brother-in-law, Mohammed Farrag, who lives on the coast in Seabrook has also been dealing with his own issues and went through his own experience.

“They were getting torrential downpours. He has a pool, he emptied it out 13,000 gallons and within 30 minutes it was refilled,” Daigle explained.

Global News was unable to speak with Daigle’s brother-in-law as she said his home was getting hit with more downpours and had to focus on removing water.

READ MORE: Twitter plea helps save Houston seniors stuck in Hurricane Harvey floodwaters

Harvey hit Houston — a city whose metro area covers about 10,000 square miles — and brought flooding that levels of city waterways have equaled or surpassed those of Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. No major highway has been spared some overflow. The city’s business district was virtually deserted Monday and two reservoirs elsewhere were overwhelmed, water gushing forth, as officials worked to release pressure on a pair of dams.

Houston streets have been flooded with water after Hurricane Harvey brought torrential downpours to the city.
Houston streets have been flooded with water after Hurricane Harvey brought torrential downpours to the city. Courtesy: John Mangogna
Streets near downtown Houston are flooded with water after Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas city and surrounding communities.
Streets near downtown Houston are flooded with water after Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas city and surrounding communities. Courtesy: John Mangogna
Flooding in a neighbourhood just outside downtown Houston.
Flooding in a neighbourhood just outside downtown Houston. Courtesy: John Mangogna
Flooded areas of Houston are pictured in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Flooded areas of Houston are pictured in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Courtesy: John Mangogna

At least 2,000 people so far have been plucked from the floodwaters, according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo on Monday. At least 185 critical rescue requests were still pending as of Monday morning with the goal to rescue those people by end of day.

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For Daigle, she said where she’s living is “like living on an island.”

“When the water fell off yesterday for about an hour, we took a walk about five minutes down the road and when we got to the freeway, we walked past the freeway and it was completely submerged like a river,” she said. “I mean you could kayak down them. Everything is shut down.”

Asked why they chose not to evacuate as the hurricane was making its way to the city, she said they made the decision to stay to avoid likely traffic congestion and because their home being a three-story home, they’d be able to escape flooding should it happen — much of the flooding has so far reached roof lines of single-story homes.

Daigle’s mother Linda — also originally from Moncton — also joined them in their home recently for safety. She said the reservoirs in her mother’s neighbourhood had the possibility of getting filled and so they invited her to stay with them.

WATCH: People experience Hurricane Harvey’s impact, including flooded pools and submerged streets

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When Harvey was making its way towards the Texas coast, Daigle said the “panic” only started setting in when she went to Costco last Thursday and only 20 minutes after the store opened there were lineups of hundreds of people waiting for water. Then, when she went to the grocery store Kroeger, she found shelves empty.

Making that trip on Thursday still helped Daigle feel prepared enough for the hurricane, especially as authorities express concerns the worst may still be yet to come as two more feet of rain expected. She said they picked up six packages of water, canned food and a gas stove so they can cook even if the electricity goes out.

She added right now, the biggest concern weather wise has been the number of tornado warnings that have been issued over the past 48 hours, with at least one hitting about 25 minutes away from their home.

“We’re on edge. We’re very stressed. It’s been three days of constant back and forth, back and forth of are we flooding, is there water coming in the house, we need to put towels, should we get in the closet, should we not,” she said. “So it’s very stressful because we’re always on alert that something’s happening.”

WATCH: FEMA and Texas response to Hurricane Harvey aftermath

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Going forward, once the rain leaves, Daigle said the community will need to come together.

“I just see this to be months and months and months of recovery,” she said. “Help one another and have rooms open for other people, it’s going to take a long time … This is not something where the water will recede and we’ll be okay, this is going to take months of recovery.”

With files from The Associated Press