WMBF anchor shares personal experience as Hurricane Harvey slams - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

WMBF anchor shares personal experience as Hurricane Harvey slams Texas

Source: Christel Bell/Robert Prather Source: Christel Bell/Robert Prather

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The catastrophic flooding continues in the city of Houston and it's a story that is incredibly close to home for a member of the WMBF News team.

Anchor Christel Bell is from Texas and her family in Houston is experiencing this catastrophic flooding first-hand. This is her personal reflection on the storm and its impact on her loved ones:

It's been really tough for me. It's emotional because it is home, and when you are more than 1,000 miles away from your family at a time like this, you feel helpless. But then I realized I have the power of prayer. 

I am thankful because my family's situation could have been much worse, but there are thousands of others in the Houston and surrounding areas that my thoughts and prayers are with. 

The pictures are just so heartbreaking - the massive devastation, the thousands of of boat and helicopter rescues. I first thought, this couldn't be happening, and it quickly became surreal when I began to see my timeline on my Facebook page filled with pictures. Even pleas for help as friends who are dear to my heart cry out for help as they are trapped in their homes or stranded in their cars as flood water relentless continue to rise. 

My mother, Queen Phillips, lives in east Houston. She tells me she's safe, there's no water in her home, but yet the roads near her home are inundated with floods water. 

'When it's totally out of your control what else can you do? So, I just began to pray,' my mother said.

My mother has always been a firm believer in the power of prayer. It's something she taught me growing up, and so it was my immediate instinct to do. 

While my mother was safe, my brother and his wife, who probably live no more than five miles from her, were rushed to safety Sunday when floods took over their apartment. 

He said water was coming into their apartment. Of course they're on the first floor and I didn't hear from him for a while. Then he called me later and said they were evacuated. They'd been picked up, taken to one of the schools in the area. 

While my immediate family and other relatives and friends are safe in Houston, I am constantly praying for those that still have to be rescued. 

Many more are left without homes as more rain is expected to fall.  

'My heart still goes out to all of those that are still struggling, needing to be rescued,' my mother told me.

I was emotional talking to her, but mom always has a way of making you feel like everything is going to be alright (even as an adult).

To my personal friends trapped in the upper stories of their home, classmates stranded on the interstate waiting for help, we're praying for you. When I say 'we' I am speaking of my fellow South Carolinians, some of which have already expressed their thoughts and prayers with me. 

My mother said it's hard to empathize with people if you have never gone through this type of situation, but we can certainly sympathize with them. 

'It's heartbreaking. You never had to go through this before, you don't know exactly what to do. You have a few things in your bag,' she said. 

My mother has lived in Houston for about 40 years and never has she seen any storm or massive flooding like what Harvey brought to the area. 
Growing up there, I knew when it rains, it's more likely to flood. My family was always prepared for major storms. We knew which areas of the city that were more prone to flooding, but this storm was much more different.

'I remember, I'm thinking it was Allison there was a lot of water, there was much flooding to this magnitude. I can't recall, I can't recall it being this bad,' my mother said. 

Talking with my mom, we talked about how the city of Houston will rise from the devastation. She also expressed the city was setting an example for the nation, because for the first time in weeks, race has not been a topic. The images you see are only people helping people in the time of need. 

'It's really heartbreaking, and of course I've been praying. I do believe in prayer and the power of prayer. At this point that's all I can do,' my mother said.

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All rights reserved. 

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