Residents and pet dogs are evacuated to the Constellation Fieldshelteron Aug. 28, 2017 in Sugar Land, southwestern Houston, the United States. (Xinhua/Liu Liwei)
AUSTIN, United States, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- For 16-year-old Texas boy Richard Solis, who just survived from a deadly hurricane and lost his home overnight, the long journey of healing has just begun.
Three days have passed since Hurricane Harvey slammed his hometown, a costal town called Rockport located in the southeast corner of Texas in south United States. Solis, who is now in a shelter with his family, still felt the fear and despair when the most powerful hurricane in decades made a landfall Friday night.
"It was horrible, the door was shaking so bad that I had to hold it or it would be blown open," Solis recalled, with his voice trembling and eyes wide open.
After numerous phone calls to the local fire department and police, Solis finally got rescued with his parents and grandmother in darkness.
By the time they escaped the house, everything familiar had been devastated.
"The roof collapsed, corridors collapsed, all the stuff flew in the air, everything was like torn down to pieces," Solis said.
Joined by over other 170 residents from Rockport, Solis was evacuated by the U.S. national guard to a shelter in Toney Burger Activity Center, a stadium to the west of downtown Austin, a Texas city 320 kilometers away.
Under the dim yellow light of the stadium, seven rows of beds of military green were unfolded in the center stage, about 34 beds in a row. Piles of donated clothes were stored on one side of the grandstands.
Dozens of stuff walked around, each wearing a yellow vest with a red across sign in the back.
"This is considered an evacuation shelter,this was to get people out of danger," Richard Scanlan, a long-time volunteer for the Red Cross and also the manager of the Toney Burger Shelter, told Xinhua on Monday.
More than 23,800 people are seeking refuge from the deadly storm and local flooding in 34 Red Cross and community shelters in Texas, according to latest report from the American Red Across.
"We provide them with food, medical care when they needed, spiritual help if they want to talk about the past," Scanlan said.
Volunteers worried that the dreadful hurricane experience has not only caused property damage, but also left the victims deeply scarred.
"They are all pretty traumatized, the majority of these people were pulled out of the water and they lost everything they had," Scanlan said.
Sixty-one years old Nena was staying with her sisters when the hurricane struck their house in Rockport late Friday night. She was brought to the shelter in the night of rain and wind, with nothing but her purse in hand.
"The water was deep up to my knee, and we were all sick, sick and wet." She told Xinhua Monday.
"First night I was nervous and scared because I have never been in a shelter before. These people here are so wonderful and we are comfortable, but we can not go back home. The gas and electricity are all down now," she said.
To evacuees like Nena, going home is a dream that couldn't be fulfilled anytime soon.
As Harvey downgraded from category 4, it was inflicting its damage across a wide swath of Southeast Texas, with tornadoes ripping apart hundreds of homes and businesses, killing at least nine people as flooding continues in the area.
Morgan Stanley estimated Monday that the disaster may cause a damage of 40 billion U.S. dollars in the country's economy.
Red Cross workers said there will be a long way ahead before everything goes back to order.
The evacuation shelters may be consolidated together to a larger shelter after Sept. 8, said Scanlan, adding that it will the longtime job of local county governments, state governments and city governments to do some case work and help people to find housing again.
Three days after the hurricane, Rockport residents finally saw the sun came out in the sky of Austin.
Outside the shelter, Solis stood in the sunshine next to his grandmother in a wheelchair, enjoying a moment of peace and warmth.
"I just wish everyone can get back to Rockport and everything will be all right," he said.