'I have nothing': Port Arthur evacuee returns home

A Port Arthur woman, displaced by Harvey, said she couldn't get back home because she didn't stay in a shelter.

A Port Arthur woman, displaced by Harvey, said she couldn’t get back home because she didn’t stay in a shelter.

FEMA paid for her hotel room and she has run out of money.

“This is it. This is all I've got,” Sylvia Gorrer said as she sorted through a few shirts.

Life may not have been luxurious for Gorrer, but it was better than the Austin hotel room she called home.

“I have nothing. I have nothing,” Gorrer said.

During the storm, water rose up to her shoulders.

“My mother fell down twice,” Gorrer said.

Her mother, Jessie, is 81.

“It was just too much pressure. I just kept on pressing out,” said Jessie.

“To see your mother go underwater. She's all I've got. she's all I've got left,” said Sylvia.

After 22 hours in the water, rescue finally took them to a Port Arthur church. From there, the mother-daughter duo flew on an evacuation plane to Ft. Worth.

Two days in a shelter was too much.

“I couldn't be around people like that for too long,” said Gorrer.

Gorrer says she has a medical condition. She can't handle big crowds.

A friend brought her to Austin.

She realized leaving a shelter means leaving the services behind.

Hot meals became whatever she could get from a local food bank.

“This is it,” said Gorrer.

Six cans of vegetables, one soup, rice, tomato sauce and some applesauce line the sink next to the bathroom.

“This is how I’m living. I have never in my life lived like this before,” said Gorrer.

Gorrer is out of money. She said she can’t afford the bus ticket back.

Gorrer said any charity she called wouldn't help.

So, KVUE News tried.

Red Cross confirmed that help was given at the shelter.

The State of Texas was operating transportation routes back to impacted areas.

Since Austin's shelter is now closed, it seemed all help was gone.

Then, we spoke with Austin Disaster Relief Network.

They were heading to Port Arthur on a volunteer trip.

“It's a group of churches that has gathered together,” said Hazel McCullough.

They made room for two more passengers.

“I'm just so happy that y'all helped me to get back,” said Sylvia Gorrer.

Related: Austin Disaster Relief Network mobilizes to help Louisiana

From Austin Disaster Relief Network’s website:

Austin Disaster Relief Network would like to thank all who made #LovePortArthur a successful mission day. Thousands of survivors were assisted, fed, loved on, prayed for and mostly they were engaged with the church in a united effort - from Port Arthur and Greater Austin. We couldn't be more blessed by our volunteers, sponsors, partners and all of those who contributed to the long journey. We are continuing to provide assistance to survivors unable to attend on Sept 30th. Those needing help with short and long-term recovery can go to Love Port Arthur website to fill out the Survivor Assistance Form. Our Call Center volunteers will follow up with survivors individually to review next steps. Thank you for your continued support in ADRN's mission to serve those affected by Hurricane Harvey throughout Texas.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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