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Former Elizabethtown Resident Describes Texas Storm

A former Elizabethtown resident who now lives near Houston said her neighborhood has been spared much of the devastation from the severe weather there. Hurricane Harvey made landfall late Friday, Aug. 25, as a Category 4 hurricane. Although it’s since been downgraded to a tropical storm, it has lingered in the Houston area, dropping about six months’ worth of rain in a couple of days.

Carrie Kemper Gaffney, 50, lives with her husband and son in Spring, a Harris County community north of Houston.

There’s no water in her house, she told LNP on Monday, May 28, although nearby creeks “are overflowing as we speak.”

“Our neighborhood is doing pretty good, but we are kind of stranded,” she said, noting that nearby streets and the closest freeway are under water.

Gaffney said friends in Rayford, another Houston suburb, “lost every­thing” in a flood in May. They just finished rehabilitating their house, she said, “and their house is under water again.”

She, like many residents of the Houston area, was not told to evacuate.
“We are safer at home,” Gaffney said.

An evacuation order, she said, “would have created way more problems” because of the vast population there.

Some help is getting to the area from Pennsylvania. Six airmen from the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s 193rd Special Operations Wing in Middletown departed Monday, Aug. 29, to assist with communications efforts in Texas.
The airmen, who departed from their headquarters at Harrisburg International Airport aboard a Pennsylvania C-130 aircraft, flew to Kelly Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, pending further instructions.

“The 193rd Special Operations Wing has extensive experience with this type of mission and we are happy to assist our sister states when disaster strikes,” said Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general.

It is not known how long the team will remain in Texas. Pennsylvania is one of numerous states to receive federal activation orders from the National Guard Bureau.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by Hurricane Harvey and with those supporting the disaster relief efforts,” Carrelli said.

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