APRO Gives Back: Connie Murphy and Hurricane Harvey

Connie Murphy, an employee in the rent-to-own industry and a recipient of aid from the RTO Employee Disaster Relief Fund

Meet Connie Murphy, an employee in the rent-to-own industry and a recipient of aid from the RTO Employee Disaster Relief Fund. Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 28 as one of the most intense hurricanes in U.S. history, spawning as many as 50 tornado warnings in the Houston area. The torrential rainfall causing record flooding to the area. Murphy’s home, where she and her husband, Shannon, and their family of seven resided, was along Harvey’s destructive path.

“I woke up to the sound of heavy rain falling and got up to check the level of water outside,” Murphy recalls. “I was walking through the house and everything seemed fine so I went back to bed.” But Harvey dropped over 40 inches of rainfall and soon floodwaters made their way into the Murphy home. The Murphys had prepared for Harvey by stacking plastic-wrapped sandbags two-feet high around the perimeter of their house but after four hours of heavy rainfall the barricade didn’t stand a chance.

“My dad called to check on us, so I decided to get up again and as I made my way out of bed, my feet hit a very cold, drenched carpet. My dad could hear me gasp and whisper that there was water in my room,” Murphy remembers. “As I walked down the hall, my dad—on the phone—and I could hear water splashing a little louder. I started to quietly cry and he just kept saying ‘It’s okay, God will provide.’ The water levels had surpassed the threshold of our house and I realized I needed to wake the family up.”

Murphy and her family worked quickly to secure things inside and outside of the house. Their primary concern was their three grandchildren ages six-months to seven years. “The weather predications indicated the rain would only get worse and it was then that we decided we had to get the kids out,” Murphy says. “The water had reached knee level in our garage and there was no safe way to get our vehicles out. With no way out we waited, hoping the rain would stop.”

As the water rose, they turned off all breaker boxes in fear of being electrocuted and by 3 p.m. the water was already over four feet high. A family friend called to check on the Murphys and sent help. “My 18-year old son and one of the boys that came to our rescue each took one of my granddaughters while another young man took my six-month old grandson. My daughter, Erin, followed while my husband, son, son-in-law and myself stayed behind.”

Shortly after her grandchildren were rescued, the fire department came to the rest of the family’s rescue. “I remember a lady hugging me and saying, ‘you are safe now,’ and all I could do was cry.” Murphy was reunited with her family at the Baptist Church Shelter where they stayed for a week before returning to their home. “We lost everything to Harvey and did not have flood insurance,” Murphy says. “We have been working hard to get our house in order. It’s been a slow and stressful process but I’m so thankful we survived.”

Join APRO in giving back by donating to the RTO Employee Disaster Relief Fund. Click here to donate online, or contact us at 800/204-2776, ext. 111