Kingwood woman reunited with neighbor who helped her evacuate

The rain has stopped in Houston, but parts of the city remain underwater.

KINGWOOD, TX - The rain stopped Wednesday in the Houston area. Hurricane Harvey has moved on, but his effects have not.

"It's your whole life turned upside down," said Linda Fulkerson who lives in Kingwood, a suburb northeast of Houston.

The neighborhood she lives in has the San Jacinto River on one side and Lake Houston on the other. Both flooded during the hurricane sending water into nearby homes.

First responders from Wylie, Texas and as far away as Los Angeles and Philadelphia spent Wednesday in the neighborhood using boats to evacuate residents and check on people who didn't leave their homes.

Neighbors also used boats, canoes and jet skis to go into their homes and help their friends.

"We delivered supplies to a house over here straight down Forest Garden to some guys," said Jarrod Reese who lives in the neighborhood. "We were going to check on their houses and they knew a friend had stayed in his home and we actually dropped supplies off in the house to them to make sure they were okay and they had something to eat while they were still there."

Fulkerson returned to her home to start and was starting the process of cleaning up when the neighbor who helped evacuate her and her husband at 4:00 am Tuesday showed up.

"We were asleep," Fulkerson exclaimed "And they came banging on the front door and rescued us. And then, we got in a boat. I am from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, went all the way through college there, and the two guys paddling our boat were from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Is that not a God thing?"

The neighbor who helped her, Arlene Gutierrez, stood next to Fulkerson, embracing her, as she talked to KVUE News. Fulkerson thought the teenager's mother sent her over to get them. We were there when she learned what really happened.

When asked what she was thinking, Gutierrez said, "To get her."

"Because her mother sent her," Fulkerson interjected.

"No. I came on my own," Gutierrez explained.

Fulkerson gasped and hugged her young neighbor.

"I didn't know that. I thought your mom sent you," Fulkerson told her, seemingly holding back tears.

"I told her I was coming to get you," said Gutierrez.

The 15-year-old said she didn't think twice about checking on her elderly neighbors as the water rose.

"It was all the way up to that step right there," Gutierrez said pointing at the house, "and I just needed to make sure they were good and we would all get out together."

Now the neighbors say they will start down the road to recovery, together.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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