NPR for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
KERA's One Crisis Away project focuses on North Texans living on the financial edge.

After The Flood: Evacuee Family From Port Arthur Thinks Fort Worth Could Be The Future

Allison V. Smith
KERA news special contributor
Brandy Foster and her two kids Da'Koryian McElroy and Da'Kera McElroy

Three months ago, Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Gulf Coast and settled over southeast Texas for three days, dumping feet, not inches of rain. Thousands evacuated before the storm made landfall, others had to be rescued. Just shy of 4,000 people came to Red Cross shelters in Dallas, Fort Worth and Irving. About 120 families have decided to stay.

KERA's series One Crisis Away: After The Flood shares the stories of evacuees who've decided to press reset in North Texas.

Brandy Foster and her two kids have re-settled in Fort Worth; the journey to get there was rough.

"I was in Port Arthur, Texas. I was hit by Hurricane Harvey, and it destroyed most of the town. They came in and they rescued us and evacuated us here to Fort Worth," she says.

Foster and her two children, Da'Kera and Da'Koryian McElroy listened to the rain pound their apartment for three days; it just wouldn't stop. Foster couldn't sleep and the flooded parking lot meant driving away was out of the question too.

"Once the water started coming into the actual apartments and then the canals start overflowing, then we started hearing helicopters come in on the fourth day," she says. "By the fourth day we were just scared out of our mind because we didn't know what to do, who to call."

Getting Out

Luckily, help found them. Volunteers with boats started arriving, rescue helicopters landed in the parking lot. Foster says a foot of water was inside her apartment at this point. It was time to go.

Foster and her family grabbed what they could and climbed into the back of a big truck-- which took them to a church where they spent the night. Then a van drove them to the airport-- a military plane flew them to Dallas, and a bus shuttled them to a shelter in southeast Fort Worth. It was a wild journey.

See Brandy Foster's full story here, and learn about other evacuee families who have decided to stay in North Texas.

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.