Stuck in Tacoma: Houston man, mother wait to return home

A Houston family visiting relatives in Tacoma is now stranded here in Western Washington. They're not only trying to get home, but are also wondering what condition their homes are in.

A Houston family visiting relatives in Tacoma are now stranded, wondering about the condition of their home.

They've been trying to return to the hurricane-hit city since their flight was canceled Friday night.

Clarence Wallace gets frequent text message updates from family back home in Houston.

"Liz and I had to move our cars for the first time as water building up enough to scare us," the 49-year-old said, reading a text message from his sister.

Photos from Facebook friends of flooded roads tell them they would never have made it home from the airport.

"I don't think we would have made it very far," Clarence said.

Like many Houstonians, Clarence and his mother Verna are hurricane veterans. Clarence spent a night on the freeway during Tropical Storm Allison in 2001.

"We evacuated for Rita," Clarence reminded his mom. "And then don't forget Ike."

"Oh yeah," said Verna.

So seeing pictures of the water approaching Verna's downstairs apartment, they know there is little they can do.

"Try to take care, prepare, and pray. That's all you can do," said the 85-year-old mother of nine.

Using social media, Clarence is trying to find out about his home in the White Oaks area, but so far he’s been unsuccessful. He lives on the 3200 block of Mangum Rd., where it crosses W. 34th St.

"Because I'm on the second floor I'm not as concerned about the apartment, but I did leave a vehicle parked," he said. "I'm not sure if there was wind damage. It was under a car port. Or if there was rising water."

Now, they have nothing to do but wait it out -- resting easier knowing they have insurance and that their loved ones back home are safe.

"I've never been one tied to material things too much that it would devastate me," Clarence said.

© 2017 KING-TV


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