Texas man stuck in Oregon after eclipse eager to return home, as - KPTV - FOX 12

Texas man stuck in Oregon after eclipse eager to return home, assist with hurricane relief

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David Petkus (KPTV) David Petkus (KPTV)

As the remnants of Hurricane Harvey finally move north, a man from Clear Lake Shores, Texas who is stuck in Portland says he is ready to head back home to help friends and family.

David Petkus came to Oregon to visit his daughter and view the eclipse. His trip was extended because of Hurricane Harvey which slammed the coast near Houston. Petkus has lived in Clear Lake Shores for nearly nine years. The town is on the southeast side of Houston.

Petkus said his home is OK because it is up on stilts, but others in the region weren't so lucky.

"My heart goes out to these people," Petkus said. 

Petkus has been trying to get back home since Monday, but can't because of canceled flights and airports that were closed in Houston.

"It's bad there," Petkus said. "I've talked to other people and they say it is really bad and you just can't believe how bad it is until you see it."

Petkus along with his daughter, Andie Petkus, have been keeping up to date with friends and family on the changing conditions.

"It's been really scary," Andie Petkus said.

She went to high school in Portland, Texas and said friends there have been told not to return home for some time.

Both said  watching Harvey from so far away has been a reminder of how important it is to be ready for a natural disaster. Andie Petkus is fortunate enough to have neighbors who have put a plan in place to be ready in case an earthquake or flood were to hit Oregon.

"My neighbors are pretty well prepared," she said.

Over the last month, she along with other neighbors have been stocking up on supplies and getting kits ready to weather a natural disaster. Watching the coverage from Houston, Andie Petkus said she has learned other things to help be more prepared.

She saw a story of a woman who put her phone in her pocket and the flood waters and heavy rain ruined it. She has now added simple zip lock bags to her kit.

"If she had just had a zip lock bag she would still have her cell phone, but she didn't and now she has no phone," Andie Petkus said.

She also mentioned seeing reports of people not having important documents in a safe place. She is working on finding a way to better secure hers and hopes others will do the same.

As for David Petkus, he plans to fly back to Houston on Saturday when the airports reopen.

"I've already told people I'll help them clean up as best I can," Petkus said.

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