Hurricane Harvey keeping Gadsden Co. native from returning home to Houston

By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 28, 2017

Damage form Hurricane Harvey outside of a hotel in Corpus Christi Texas, Photo Date: 8/26/17 Photo: Kris Gutierrez / Twitter

QUINCY, Fla. (WCTV) -- Shaia Simmons lives in Houston, but was in Tallahassee to move her son into FAMU and to watch the Rattlers first football game Saturday.

But now, she's watching the impact of Hurricane Harvey unfold near her home.

"It's just an unbelievable feeling to watch and hear about that happening," she said.

Simmons says the flooding is happening only a mile or two away from her home in Houston. Her grandmother had to be evacuated from her assisted living facility from Houston to Waco, Texas.

"I'm not sleeping well. I have this anxiety. The images of the road that you travel on frequently just being underwater, there are no words for that," Simmons said.

Simmons has a friend with a three-week old baby and a son the same age as her two-year-old daughter. She called the family to offer to let them stay at her home.

"She called back to say we can't even get out of her neighborhood. They're waiting for help to arrive," Simmons said.

She's been able to keep up with things near their home through her husband, Willie R. Simmons, who's also a Gadsden County native. Willie Simmons is the head football coach for Prairie View A&M University and is home in Houston while Shaia and the kids are in Quincy.

Simmons is grateful that she and her toddler and 6-month old baby can stay with family members in Quincy. Her heart goes out to those in Houston.

She said, "It's just overwhelming. You can only watch and you can only wait and you can only pray for our friends and for our neighbors." Simmons adds, "You want to go home. But, right now all you can do is pray and know that there's hope after Harvey and that we'll eventually get there. As Texans, we'll get through it."

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