People continue to be displaced and evacuated from areas hit by Hurricane Harvey. Some have had to travel hundreds of miles to find a safe place until things return to normal.
That was the case for one 74-year-old woman who was forced to leave her family and hometown near Houston and relocate 330 miles south to the Texas-Mexico border in Weslaco.
Barbara Bishop is a temporary resident at the Retama Manor Nursing Center. She’s one of thousands of Texans who had to abandon their hometown after county officials in Fort Bend ordered a mandatory evacuation ahead of Hurricane Harvey.
Bishop is counting her blessings.
“I was very lucky, my sister and I, both homes were not flooded,” she said.
The 74-year-old country music lover got quite a scare learning of the dangers Harvey posed to the coastal bend. Bishop thought that she would have to swim to be rescued. Luckily she did not.
Her nursing center in Missouri City, southwest of Houston, relocated her and 107 other residents and staff to sister centers in deep South Texas.
“It’s a stressful situation just coming from Houston all the way over here. But when they see a familiar face, that calms them down and they know that they are in a safe place,” said Bishop’s physical therapist Tania Karmout, who also left her home and family behind.
It’s been a difficult situation for many involved.
“I commend them because it took a lot to leave everything behind and go into unforeseen circumstances,” said Retama Manor Nursing Center administrator Yvonne Olivarez.
Many still don’t know the full extent of the damage caused by Harvey in their home towns or how long they must wait before returning. For now, the priority for folks at Retama Manor is the comfort of their resident evacuees.
“They were always there by me,” Bishop said.
Bishop noted that she can’t wait to return home and see her family. However, she will have to wait until county officials lift the mandatory evacuation order. No word yet as to when that will happen.