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Folks In Hurricane Harvey's Path Hit The Road, And Head To North Texas

As Hurricane Harvey nears the Texas gulf coast, folks are streaming north to wait out the storm and that means big business for hotels and truck stops in Dallas and Fort Worth.

Within the sea of Houston evacuees, there was a lonely car headed the other way.

A Truck Stop Full Of Transplants

At the Loves truck stop in Hutchins, all Dejah Covick cares about, is the smooth-sailing southbound lanes of I-45.

"Our home is in Rosenberg, Texas actually so it's like southwest of Houston and we live there. So we're just going to hunker down,” she says

Covick's 6-year-old daughter Anastasia had been staying with family in Kansas, so Mom picked her up and started south. They did stop for supplies in Denison though, to avoid the cleaned out stores near Houston.

"Several gallons of water. And we have lots of canned food, crackers, soups that are nonperishable,” she says. Things that are going to be easy to boil on a grill if necessary if we don't have any power.”

That's what the throngs coming up from the south are trying to avoid. Phillip Larson is from the Woodlands and says he just couldn't risk staying home.

"Being stranded in the house, maybe damage and not having electricity. My parents are in their eighties and I thought, probably be the wisest thing just to get them out of town,” he says.

Larson and his parents aren't the only carload headed to a Dallas hotel. Perla Licona and 15 of her family members are doing the same thing.

"My house is in a flood zone so we just decided to 'don't risk it, I have a baby.' And we are just going for a few days to Dallas,” she says.

Remembering The Past

Licona lives in Pasadena, a suburb southeast of Houston. She's called the area home for years, and still shudders when she thinks of the flooding from Tropical Storm Allison back in 2001.

"My house was flooded with Allison three feet. Whenever it rains a few inches, it floods a little bit this street. With what, 12 inches? I don't want to risk it,” she says.

A ton of people agree, which explains the interstate full of northbound sedans, SUVs, pickups, minivans and RVS full of people, luggage, and at least a few dogs.

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.