Fort Wayne native weathers the storm in Houston

HOUSTON, Ind. (WANE) – Houston is the fourth largest city in the country, and has a lot of Hoosier transplants. One Carroll High School and IPFW graduate is staying safe in her home in Houston.

Jessica Rutledge lives right by the Clear Creek also known as the NASA bayou. She’s watched the water levels there grow and recede. At one moment they’re receding from her apartment complex the next minute they’re getting closer.

“To be a part of the greatest flood in U.S. history, or what’s being called the greatest flood in U.S. history, I don’t think anyone thinks that will happen to them especially a girl from Northern Indiana,” Rutledge said.

Jessica Rutledge tried to get back to normal Monday after Tropical Storm Harvey dumped feet of rain on Houston.

“I did attempt to get up and go to work this morning about 8 a.m.,” Rutledge said. “The bayou right behind me had fallen about four feet overnight. We were being told to make it into work if we could so I went out there and had to turn around. You’re seeing slogans out there ‘turn around don’t drown.'”

For now Rutledge, who moved to Houston from Northeast Indiana last year, is dry in her apartment and still has power.

“My apartment has stayed dry, but I’m on the second floor,” she said. “The first floor has been threatened but so far hasn’t flooded.”

Her apartment is about 40 minutes from Downtown Houston where a lot of the evacuations are happening, but she said no matter where you are, you’re in danger of losing everything.

“I have a friend who is an ER physician who lives right in Downtown and she’s experiencing total loss of her apartment,” Rutledge said. “Six feet of water in her apartment. Then I have coworkers and friends who live five miles away from me who have experienced total loss.”

Rutledge said spirits are still up.

“That’s just kind of the Houston way,” she said. “They’re saying hey we live on the coast, and we haven’t had a big hurricane like this in 10 years. It’s just a part of living here. You’d be surprised at how great spirits are, and everyone is ready to pitch in and help.”

Rutledge has offered to house friends and pets in her dry apartment. She’s also looking out for animals the floods may bring to the city. She said in the bayou behind her is where several alligators call home.