“It sounded like a freight train; Texas woman escapes Hurricane Harvey, drives to Johnson City

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – As millions brace for Hurricane Irma, people along the Gulf Coast are still dealing with the aftermath of deadly Hurricane Harvey.

The storm hit the Texas coast as a category four hurricane on August 25th killing at least 60 people.

News Channel 11’s Justin Soto met a Texas woman who escaped to Johnson City, arriving just Thursday morning after over a week on the road

The Acker family of Galveston Island, TX barely escaped the storm with personal items they could pack into a van.

“Personal hygiene products, a little bit of food,” Laurie Acker said. Those were just some of the items she could squeeze into her van with her 3 children and a cat.

Acker said the everything was okay until the weather changed in the blink of an eye.

“Everything was okay and then all of a sudden within six hours we were mandatory evacuated before that it was like a freight train running it was so loud. As we were leaving the waves from the ocean were crashing over the sea wall, they were hitting my car, my children were scared,” Acker said.

Acker said she’s grateful her and her children are safe, with help from family right here in Johnson City.

She called her distant cousin Angela Evans for help. Through a family tree website – they connected with just over a year ago.

“She asked about the area and I said it’s the perfect area…perfect place for kids and at least she would have family close by,” Evans said.

Acker and her family are now living at a Johnson City hotel. She’s also keeping in touch with her husband who’s serving in the United States Army, stationed in South Korea.

Although Acker lost everything, “I have my photos when I was a child. My great grandparents, I lost all of that.”

She still has hope.

“I know that as long as we stay together as a family no matter what we’ll get through it,” Acker said.

Acker tells us she’s now trying to rebuild her family. She’s hoping to move into a house and get her children back in school. She doesn’t know if she’ll ever return to Texas.

Copyright 2017 WJHL.  All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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