NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Hurricane Harvey survivors cope with new felt feelings every day. While some are good, and others are bad, either way, the feelings may stay with them for a life time.
The roller coaster of emotions for Mauriceville flood victims is nothing but a survival game. First, there's the uncertainty. Do we stay or evacuate?
The fright of rising water provided the answer for Bret Tibbetts and Brittany Alexander.
"It was coming in too quick," Tibbett said.
"And it was coming in from everywhere. It wasn't just the door," Alexander said. "It was coming in from the floor, from the bathroom, from everything. If we didn't get out of there, we weren't going to get out of there."
Desperation surfaced when rescue boats kept passing by the family.
The practically floating modular home sat off the roadway, which had become a boat lane.
"Me, my mother, and my daughter were screaming on the porch," Alexander said.
Eventually, in a shelter the family was warm and dry, but the experience haunted them for over a week.
"Every time I laid my head down and somebody would walk by it sounded to me, and I know it wasn't true, it sounded like they were walking through water," Tibbetts said
"To me it sounded like there was always rain on the roof," Alexander said
"Rain on the roof. It's stuck in your head," Tibbett said.
Rebecca Tally, also of Mauriceville, was rescued by a boat sent to her by a neighbor. Like so many others, she wants to go home.
"What do you tell people when you want to go home, and you don't have a home to go to?" said Rebecca Talley, a flood survivor.
The home, filled with family photographs, is heavily damaged by flood waters. FEMA says it can be repaired. Funding and restoration will take time.
In the meantime, Tally has had to learn how to receive comfort from strangers who later become friends. She's the kind of woman who plans, if necessary, to live in a tent until her home is livable. Accepting help is something new.
"For these people to help me, I don't know how to deal with it," Tally said. "It's like overwhelming. It's … I thank the Lord they're here."
The ups and downs don't go away.
Alexander fights chronic health issues. She is in the hospital with pneumonia.
Tibbett stays worried, but he said the bright news is he has a vehicle to replace the one that flooded. Also, the children are in Nacogdoches schools and even got a visit from a Lone Star Santa earlier in the week. Over $700 has been donated to Brittany's gofundme account.
Day to day is how evacuees survive.
"Stand together or fall together," Alexander said.
"Country girl can survive," Tally said.
As of Wednesday night, there were more than 60 storm survivors living at the Nacogdoches County Exposition Center tonight.
Remember, if you have a Survivors story, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.