Hurricane Harvey hits home for Troy native in College Station

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Troy native Jessica Smith doesn’t live in Houston, but she’s close enough to see some of the same effects.

“It’s not as bad as Houston, but yesterday a lot of the roads you couldn’t drive on,” Smith said. “One of the main roads had five or six inches of water on it.”

Smith is living in College Station, Texas where she both attends and teaches school at Texas A&M.

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The flooding came at an especially inopportune time for the college students– right in the middle of move-in day as class was set to begin Monday. Now Smith said she’s not sure what will happen with classes as the storm looms and threatens to hit again.

“It’s not like I could go home either,” Smith said. “I have to wait because I teach a class out here, so I had to wait until the school gave us a notice to leave.”

So she waited, but the college didn’t send out a notice that classes were being cancelled until late in the day Monday.

“So I’ve just been stuck here chilling,” Smith said. “I’ve been sitting in my apartment for a while. I did get to brave the water yesterday. I have a friend form Korea that doesn’t have a car, so we went to get groceries because we didn’t think it would be this bad. Everyone was just panicking at Wal-Mart; all the water and beer was gone. For her, that was pretty scary she’s never seen anything like that.”

Smith said she managed to make it there and back despite her care basically becoming a boat during portions of the trip.

Smith said the community seems to be taking the threat more seriously now that the first wave has hit.

“I think people are more nervous,” Smith said. “I don’t see a lot of people outside. Right before it hit the first time, they went about their business in the rain.”

In Houston, the flooding has been even worse.

The nation’s fourth-largest city was still mostly paralyzed Monday by one of the largest downpours in U.S. history. And there was no relief in sight from the storm that spun into Texas as a Category 4 hurricane, then parked over the Gulf Coast. With nearly 2 more feet of rain expected on top of the 30-plus inches in some places, authorities worried that the worst might be yet to come.

Kimberly May, director of the Pike County Salvation Army, said that Houston needs financial donations, not furniture and other ‘in-kind’ donations.

“They don’t need clothing and furniture right now, they need monetary donations,” May said. “Any clothing and furniture donations can be made to us, but it would be for the local area.”

There are three ways to donate financially to the crisis.

Residents can go online at, donate by phone  at 1-800-SAL-ARMY or by mailing a check to Salvation Army, PO Box 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301.

“Just make sure on your check to designate it to Hurricane Harvey,” May said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.