51ºF

Flooded to frozen: How Harvey victims are fighting cold weather in RV

PEARLAND, Texas – Once again, Harvey families are dealing with Mother Nature. This time, it's freezing temperatures.

In one Pearland neighborhood, we saw many RVs outside of flood-damaged homes. That’s how Joe and Leslie Marin will weather the cold.

“I never thought I'd be in a camper in the cold,” said Leslie Marin of Pearland. “But we are surviving. We've got lots of heat and we've got lots of blankets.”

When Harvey hit, the Marins wound up with nearly two feet of water. Facing a long list of repairs to their gutted home, they decided to buy a camper. It will be home until their house is fixed. They parked the RV just steps away from their damaged home.

“It does get colder at night,” said Leslie. “I went and got the heater blankets, the little heated throws at Big Lots, and put them under the sheet so that the heat comes up and you stay warm.”

Making the best of their situation for the holidays, they built a deck and decked it out for Christmas. Now, wintery weather has adorned their deck too.   

“We've got ice this morning,” said Joe. “We've still got ice on the deck.  It was slippery this morning.”

Now they are preparing for an even colder blast of air. 

“Just keep warm,” Joe said. “I wrapped my water hose. We've got water in the RV,  so I had to wrap the water hose.”

Meanwhile, just down the street, the Dean family stays bundled up as they shuttle between their gutted home and their camper.  

“We do use the bathroom in the house, so it is kind of an inconvenience,” Jennifer Dean said. “It's like using an outhouse. You hear older people talk about how they used to walk out into the freezing cold to go use the restroom. That's us right now.”

Harvey brought a foot of water to their home. Now their home awaits electrical repairs, sheetrock and so much more. But in one corner stands a framed newspaper article with a picture of the couple.

They became national news when the Houston Chronicle captured Jim and Jennifer watching the World Series from their gutted home.

Their next big event, weathering tonight’s deeper dip in temperatures. Fortunately, their camper and home have heat. It’s the trips between the two that leave them shivering.