HOUSTON, TEXAS -- We are hearing from Western New Yorkers who are finally able to get out of Houston, Texas. Flights have been cancelled since the weekend, and those folks have been forced to find shelter.
"We were all in tears of joy that we were able to leave and that there's hope for others that can also get out," that's the emotional reaction Gabe Miller had when she finally found a flight today out of Texas.
Miller is from Depew. Last week, she took a trip to Belize with some friends. On her way back, she had a layover in Houston, when Hurricane Harvey hit. She and her friends have stayed at two hotels, seeking shelter.
"You look at things that you are grateful for, you appreciate things in a whole different sense when you have gone without even clean clothes, we're in the same clothes that we got in when we left Belize Saturday morning," she said.
Miller took a picture of what it looked like near her hotel. The roads flooded -- people using horses to get around.
"Your heart just breaks for people and you just try to offer encouragement and feel for them," she said.
Because of the devastation -- flights in Houston have been cancelled and airports closed. Miller says she found a flight Wednesday out of Austin, Texas that will take them to Orlando and then into Buffalo Wednesday night. She says a cab driver took her and her friends to Austin.
"I was speechless because I was trying so hard," she said.
Meantime, there are those trying to get to the flood zone. Andre Payton, Jr. who's originally from Buffalo and now lives in Houston, came back to WNY last week and was supposed to be back home already. But, because of the storm, Payton is now expected to return to Houston on Sunday, and finally see his dad, Andre Payton, Sr.
"It's very frustrating because I would like to go home eventually," Andre said.
Even though they've had their troubles with the airlines, they know their struggles pale in comparison to what others are going through in Houston. As of Wednesday evening, authorities say at least 22 people have died and NBC News reports more than 18,000 people have been rescued across Texas.