Dr. Carey Watson left his life out to dry Wednesday morning.
He, like many of his neighbors in Bellaire, Texas, was forced to abandon his home as Hurricane Harvey's floodwaters transformed their community into a suburban Atlantis. The former Anderson Township resident and his wife were only able to take the essentials -- their pets, children and basic supplies to keep themselves alive -- as they fled a home where water was bubbling through the air condition vents.
The Watsons returned Wednesday to see what was left.
"We had an idea of how things were going to go, although there were a few surprises," he said.
The water, now receded, had been up to a foot deep within their home and left a line on the wall to mark its visit. Part of their ceiling collapsed amid the rain and humidity.
The Watsons and their neighbors created piles of belongings they believed were salvageable on their front lawns, hoping the sun would help dry them out. In the meantime, the family will live in their mercifully dry RV.
"We've had the camper for a year or two, so it's our second home anyway," he said. "For the kids, it's a sense of normalcy."
Above all, Watson said he wanted to emphasize that his family had been relatively fortunate. Other victims of the flooding had entirely lost their homes, possessions, pets and even their lives.
"They're just things," he said. "We have each other. We have our animals. We're keeping our heads up and everyone is in good spirits as of right now."
For more coverage of Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, visit WCPO.com/harvey.