Grayson County man relying on faith returns from Texas after Harvey

Published: Sep. 18, 2017 at 2:42 PM CDT
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The flood waters may have gone down and the power is now back on, but those who experienced it first-hand say the memories from Hurricane Harvey are going to last much longer.

John McGinnis, a Grayson County native, says he felt the need to help out in Texas after seeing the devastation from news coverage around the country.

"Just watching it on the news like everybody, and it just hurt me, and so when stuff bothers me I pray about it, so I prayed about it and God told me to go," says McGinnis.

So he told his family about his plan, hooked his boat up to his truck, and headed to Houston.

"I tried to explain to them, you know, I've got 30 years behind this wheel and I have a bass boat that has plenty of motor to handle this. I heard 'safety first' a lot of times, but all I could think about was the safety of the people," he adds.

Once he got there, he says seeing the pictures and videos on TV didn't compare at all to seeing Harvey's after-math in person.

"There wasn't no place to get gas, there wasn't no place to sleep. I had a water bed though, I was pretty privileged -- the front seat of my truck was wet so that's where I slept -- my waterbed," he says, smiling.

McGinnis goes on to say, "It's the difference in watching a movie and living a movie. It was as bad as any war zone you ever saw, it just, complete chaos."

He says he spent several days driving his boat around flooded areas, looking for people who needing to get to dry ground.

"Some people was wading in the water trying to get out the current, and some people was on top of their house, some people was trapped in their attic," he says, describing what it was like.

"I got connected to a lot of those people. My heart -- I left a piece of my heart down there. I just want to help them," he adds.

The clean-up will be a long process ... and it's something McGinnis hopes to continue to be part of.

As he tells 13 News, "If I can get some materials together, take with me down there, if I built two houses, 10 houses, 20 houses -- if God blesses I would like to go back and rebuild some of those houses."

McGinnis is currently back home in Kentucky working on plans for his trip back to Houston to help rebuild.

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