National News

UNC grad living in Houston says damage is 'heartbreaking'

Posted September 1

— A UNC-Chapel Hill graduate and North Carolina native who moved his family to Houston from Charlotte two years ago finds himself at home in the middle of a flooded neighborhood.

"The water has come up and receded four different times," said Jack Shoemaker. "It's going to be a long time to get a lot of people back on their feet."

Shoemaker said he has been inspired by all the help the Houston area has been receiving.

"We're very fortunate in this neighborhood that we have a lot of community spirit, you can see people bringing their boats and helping each other," he said.

Ken Coons and his 19-year-old son Harrison have been rescuing stranded neighbors on their kayaks all week.

"It feels great helping people, but the focus isn't on me, it's about getting them what they need," Coons said. "They're the ones devastated. They have lost just about everything."

The boaters are also taking people like Melissa Bass, a nurse who has been working non-stop since the storm, back to their flooded homes to retrieve things.

"I've literally had nine people call me offering to help. It's been amazing," she said.

"Back along the bayou, a lot of those homes are a total loss, and it’s really heartbreaking to see them come out of that street and not have anything," Shoemaker said.

People in the neighborhood are being told it could be three to four weeks before the water recedes.

Shoemaker and his neighbors said those who were rescued from their homes initially had nowhere to go when they got on dry land.

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