NEW ORLEANS - A Texas family visiting New Orleans has extended their stay indefinitely after Hurricane Harvey flooded their home. They're anxious to get back home, but say the people of New Orleans have given them something to smile about.
"We drove here from our house in League City and just came here and then everything started happening," said Joseph Aldape.
It was supposed to be a relaxing family vacation for the Aldapes, but they say that quickly changed into a surreal situation.
"Stressful, extremely stressful," said Cynthia Aldape. "I think it's five days of seeing everything, talking to family. My husband is still at home."
Their trip, planned for months, didn't plan for Harvey. However, after a lot of thought, they continued with their trip not knowing what was about to happen back home.
"By the time we got here, it had gotten to a Category 2 and the possibility of a 3," said Cynthia. "But when it landed, I believe Joseph is right, it came in as a Category 4."
"I mean, I don't think anybody expected that to happen," said Joseph.
Glued to their cell phones, they look for any sort of news.
"Thankfully for Snapchat," Joseph chuckled. "Honestly that has been the best thing to keep me updated."
"There's a creek behind us and that overflowed its banks 10 feet," described Cynthia. "So water gushed into our subdivision and within a couple of hours, boom went right up."
The family joked that if they have to be somewhere, why not New Orleans? However, not being home has been tough.
"Even though we see pictures and social media we don't know 100 percent what's going on," said Joseph. "We see it in pictures, but at least for me, it hasn't 100% set in that this is what's going on."
With nowhere to go, the Auld Sweet Olive B&B is now home.
"It was a no brainer, we stayed open to host them," said Nancy Gunn, the owner. "Here we are on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago and the beautiful town of Houston and the people of Texas opened their arms to New Orleans residents who were fleeing Katrina. It's the least we can do."
The Aldape's don't know when they'll get back to Texas or what will be left. However, they say they do know this trip and the generosity of others is something they'll never forget.
"It's a fabulous town and the people have been marvelous," said Cynthia. "It's very heartwarming."
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