Houston has hope in wake of Harvey's devastation, says Saskatoon expat

One Saskatoon woman living in hurricane ravaged Houston believes hope is dawning on the city.

'People go out of their way to help each other,' says Alison Anderson

A Saskatoon woman now living in Houston says the city has a stronger sense of community in the wake of the devastation left behind by Hurricane Harvey. (Adrees Latif/Reuters)

One Saskatoon woman living in hurricane ravaged Houston believes hope is dawning on the city in the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Everyone opened their homes as much as they could.- Alison Anderson

The scenes from Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey are devastating: flooding, looting and people struggling to find shelter.

But Alison Anderson, a Saskatoon business owner who now lives in the Texas city, said there seems to be a new mood rising.

"The sun is shining this morning," she said in an interview with CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning, adding that "some of the stores are starting to open up."

Residents use boats to evacuate flood waters from Tropical Storm Harvey along Tidwell Road east Houston, Texas on Monday. (Adrees Latif/Reuters) (Adrees Latif/Reuters)

Still much work to do

It will be months before life returns to normal in Houston, but she said something is changing out on the streets as the community pulls together.

"To live through a hurricane is something that changes a lot of us," she said. "There is a sense of hope coming from just about everyone you see on the street."

That hope, she said, can be found in the countless acts of compassion and generosity among Houstonians who have done their best to alleviate suffering.

"People go out of their way to help each other," said Anderson.

"Everyone opened their homes as much as they could. I know there's been a lot of concentration on the shelters being set up but there is double or triple that [number of people] staying on friends' couches."

People take shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center after flood waters from Hurricane Harvey inundated Houston, Texas, on Tuesday. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Sask. winters good lesson on survival 

Anderson is doing well. Her family still has power where they live, and even though homes were flooded just blocks away, their little stretch of Houston is dry.

Plus, she said, they were well stocked up, ready for an emergency thanks to lessons Anderson learned after many harsh, unpredictable and stormy winters in Saskatoon.

"I kind of knew what to grab if we lost power and couldn't cook or anything like that, so we were definitely stocked up."

Anderson's main concern now is with mould that flourishes with heat and humidity, and all the human waste that overflowing sewage systems have left behind. 

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning