By Eric Maldonado, Staff Contributor, American Red Cross
Suzanne Harrison and her daughter, Leah Harrison, arrived at the Red Cross/New Braunfels Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) shelter at Canyon High School in New Braunfels, Texas, on Oct. 30, after spending the day in some of the worst weather Central Texas has seen.
By the time Suzanne woke up that morning, rising flood waters were reaching the front door of her cabin in Canyon Lake, Texas.
“I kept hoping that it was as high as it was going to get, but there was just more and more gushing through,” said Suzanne.
Her daughter Leah, who lived a couple of cabins away, waded through the water and rushed over to Suzanne’s cabin. When they saw a truck float by and another cabin lift off its foundation and begin to go downstream, they knew they had to leave as soon as possible.
They gathered what little they could, before being rescued by boat and brought to safety. But, Leah said, “We didn’t have anywhere to go.”
They soon found themselves surrounded by hard-working volunteers that made sure their family—including two pups—was being taken care of at the Canyon High School shelter. A couple of days later, they made their way to the Red Cross shelter at the Gruene United Methodist Church.
The Red Cross volunteers there worked day and night to ensure the shelter residents were well taken care of. They didn’t just provide residents with hot meals, cots and blankets, but also with a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on and someone to call their friend.
Suzanne and Leah met Red Cross volunteer Grace Emery at the Gruene shelter, who they immediately loved. They couldn’t stop mentioning all of the wonderful things she had done for them.
“I can say Grace was named the most appropriate name in the world. [Her parents] must have known what she was going to grow up to be,” said Leah.
They know it’s a hard road to recovery, but Leah says she has been impressed with all of the volunteers who have come forward to help not only them, but everyone affected by the floods.
“With loss came great, great gain. I would rather gain my heart than lose some junk,” said Leah.