COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va - A couple from Cypress, Texas, a suburb of Houston, is stranded in Colonial Heights because their neighborhood looks more like a lake. Flood waters caused by Storm Harvey have already crept up the side of their home 1,300 miles away -- and flooding is likely to only get worse.
Joe Collett and his friend Debbie left for an extended vacation before warnings about Hurricane Harvey began. The pair went to concerts and visited family before arriving in Colonial Heights to spend time with Collett's sister and her family.
"We had no idea. I really think if we actually knew it was going to be that bad we would have stayed in Texas. On the other hand, I'm glad we left when we did," Collett said.
Debbie owns the house in Cypress and has lived there since the early 1990s. She said that their neighborhood has experienced flooding in the past, but never anything like pictures her neighbors are sending her now.
Their neighbor had to be rescued from the second floor of his home Tuesday.
"It's going to be one big mess when we get back," Collett said. Like many people in the area around Houston, Debbie does not have flood insurance.
Joe and Debbie plan on staying with Joe's sister through this week, and other family members after that, if necessary. At this point, they do not know when they will be able to go home to Cypress or what to expect once they get there. It could take weeks for the flood waters to recede.
One of the most difficult parts of this situation, according to Collett, is watching the devastation in Houston from so far away.
"When you see... people up on the roof. Even now, on TV, up on the roof," said Collett through tears. "In Houston, everyone is going to, uh, pitch in together... I guess we're like a family."
More than 3,500 people near Houston have been rescued so far, but officials expect that number to rise. Measurements show more than 50 inches of rain have fallen from storm Harvey in certain parts of Texas. The record setting system is expected to circle back toward the eastern portion of Houston in the coming days.