One Idaho couple is grateful to be home, after they were stranded in Galveston, Texas, which is just south of Houston, because of Hurricane Harvey.
“We're just happy to be back in Boise at this point,” Jeff Wills said.
Jeff and his wife, Mali McCracken, spent five days stranded in Texas.
“It was surreal at that point, that it was actually reality and that we were actually seeing it firsthand,” McCracken said.
The couple headed down to Texas for a cruise they were supposed to go on for their honeymoon.
“You always hear about the rats and the animals going the opposite way during like a tsunami, like they know it’s coming. I was like, 'Should we be going down there,” Wills said.
A day before they were set to fly to Texas, they had to make a decision: It was either go forward with their honeymoon or risk losing the thousands of dollars they spent on the cruise as it hadn’t been canceled yet.
“So we rolled the dice,” Wills said.
On Saturday, the couple flew out of Boise and arrived in Houston.
“Everything was fine and everything was perfect, but by that night everything just kind of took a turn," Wills said.
Their cruise was canceled. The rain started to pile up, and the island they were on started to flood.
“They had impassable roads,” McCracken said.
Leaving them stranded most of the time in their hotel room.
“We had to every morning wade through water to get back to the main continental breakfast area,” Wills said.
Wills said they never so much feared for their life, but rather the unknown.
“My thought was if it dumps a bunch more water and all the roads are closed, how long is it going to be until we can get out of here?” Wills said. “Potentially if everything foodwise is closed, we have some rations, but how long will we have to sit here and wait if things go south?”
Once the weather started to clear, the couple put out an S.O.S over social media to friends and family to see if they knew anybody who could help get them home.
“We have a friend here whose brother lives in San Antonio and so he contacted him and Sam, is his name, and he's like I’m on it, I'll get there somehow, someway, I’ll figure it out,” McCracken said.
However, even that was a concern.
“We knew at some point we were going to have to get in the car and leave, but the biggest fatalities that happened that we're aware of when we were there were people in their cars,” Wills said.
The couple rolled the dice again. This time, however, it paid off. They were able to get on a flight back to Boise in San Antonio.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to them. We wish we could have helped. We wish we were here in Boise and had the resources to help, but we were just guests on an island in a hotel room with really no way to help,” Wills said.
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