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Jacksonville couple lose almost everything in Houston flooding

The Vinas moved so daughter could have surgery at Texas Children's Hospital

HOUSTON – A Jacksonville family is among the many people dealing with the high floodwaters in Houston.

More than 13,000 people have been rescued in the Houston area, as well as in surrounding cities and counties in Southeast Texas, since Tropical Storm Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, inundated the area with torrential rain, according to federal and local agencies.

The city's largest shelter was overflowing when the mayor announced plans to create space for thousands of extra people by opening two and possibly three more mega-shelters.

Among the people trying to figure out what to do next is a Jacksonville couple -- Bradley Vina and his wife, Yulia -- who have been living in Houston temporarily for several months while their daughter, Yuliana, gets treatment at a hospital there. 

Vina told News4Jax by phone Tuesday night that because of how badly their apartment was damaged in the flooding, they've made the decision to return home to Jacksonville in the next few weeks. 

"Right now, I am inside my apartment. It looks as if, I'm going to show you guys right now, this is insane. All this stuff got completely flooded. Right now, I'm inside my apartment. The water levels went down. The waters got up pretty high. Right now, the rooms are flooded," Vina said in a Facebook Live video, showing his friends what was left of his apartment. 

Vina said they moved to Houston so their daughter could have a special surgery at Texas Children's Hospital, where they've been staying since evacuating on Friday. 

"The hectic part about being here, is they pulled in double staffing because once you got to the hospital, nurses, doctors, everyone who showed up on Friday hasn't been able to leave until today," Vina told News4Jax.

He also got the change to leave Tuesday. 

"I had to get out of my car and walk in knee-deep water for three blocks just to get to our apartment," Vina said. "Going back today, where I was able to drive right into the apartment complex -- words are unexplainable."

Vina said their mattress ended up being the only salvageable piece of their belongings. 

"We're the first ones to count our blessings before we count our losses," he said. "Our first blessing, of course, is that our daughter is still perfectly fine. I'm fine. My wife is fine."

Vina said they found out Monday that their daughter will be discharged from the hospital soon, and then they'll come back to Jacksonville. 

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the Vina family. 


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