“Can’t risk it with the kids:” Former FOX6er in TX says if water comes much closer, he’s ‘out of here’

HOUSTON, Texas -- Austin Thomas is a former FOX6 photojournalist now living 30 minutes north of Houston, Texas, and he's been impacted by Tropical Storm Harvey, once a hurricane.

Austin Thomas

"I never really felt threatened by a blizzard in Milwaukee, you know? Snow gets shoveled. You can move snow. You can't do anything with water," Thomas said.

Water, and a lot of it, has become Thomas' reality amid Harvey. He said he hunkered down with his wife and two toddlers Thursday night.

"We were anticipating just maybe through the weekend some heavy rain, you know? We just didn't want to go out in it. Well, between Friday and Saturday, 36 hours, it went from maybe a tropical storm to a Category 4, so we weren't really prepared," Thomas said.

Around noon on Tuesday, August 29th, they ventured out for food, and saw the water getting ever so close to their subdivision. They live in Conroe, Texas, just north of Houston -- a distance comparable to that of Milwaukee to Racine.

"We didn't get any extreme winds where I was because it hit four hours south in Corpus Christi, that Rockport area, but we're getting all the rain and that's what the problem is. It's just kinda sitting over us," Thomas said.

He's also surrounded by lakes.

"And they opened Lake Conroe's dam and the river's rising two feet an hour, so that's what's seeping into my subdivision," Thomas said.

He said as of Tuesday, they'd already gotten 30 inches of rain, with another 15 to 20  expected over the next three days. He said residents five blocks behind him and two blocks to his east were being evacuated.

"If it gets anywhere near me, like a half-block, block, I'm out of here. I can't risk it with the kids," Thomas said.

Thomas said he has important papers, their lock box and clothing packed and ready to go if need be. We're hoping for the best for this former FOX6er and his family.

CLICK HERE for complete Harvey coverage via FOX6Now.com.