Ole Miss student, Houston native keeps eye on hometown

OXFORD, MS (WMC) - It's the start of a new semester at Ole Miss, and Houston native Drew Bouffard is focusing on starting his senior year off on the right foot.

But while Drew is trying to keep his mind on school, he can't help but think about his family and friends in back in Texas.

"It's just tough not being there," Drew said. "I've been through floods before, but nothing to this extent. Not to be with my family, it's tough to see from the television."

The television isn't the only way Drew is seeing the devastation from Hurricane Harvey.

His friends and family are also sending him pictures daily.

Just a couple of days ago, Drew's father Andy could not leave his house after being stranded due to the high water levels.

"I would look out of the window to see how high the water would go and when it was going to stop," Andy said. "Just praying for it to end."

Luckily for Andy, the water levels are lower in his area now, but other family members haven't been as lucky.

Some of the Bouffard's family have been rescued by boat, just one of many examples since Harvey's wrath hit the city.

"One of my family members had six inches of water in their house, and they're staying with my parents now," Drew said.

"It's indescribable," Andy said. "Interstate 10 goes through Los Angeles and Jacksonville, Florida. Here we are in Houston, Texas on Interstate 10, and they're rescuing people from their homes in big industrial trucks and flat bottom boats."

Although he's struggling to fully focus on his student life in Oxford from the tragic reminders of home, Drew said the city's resilience in the wake of havoc is helping him get through this time.

"We are Texans and that's what we're known for," Drew said. "Being a strong group of people, especially Houstonians in particular. We're one of the most diverse cities in America, and I think that shows that diversity can overcome everything and I think this storm is just going to bring us closer together."

How you can help Harvey victims

Make a $10 donation to Red Cross by texting the word HARVEY to 90999.

Learn about other donation and volunteer opportunities by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or by clicking here.

Donate to the Salvation Army at HelpSalvationArmy.org or call 1-800-725-2769.

Houston's mayor set up a relief fund with the Greater Houston Community Foundation. Click here to donate to that fund.

Blood donations are also encouraged at a time like this. Lifeblood said all blood types are needed. Click here or call 901-290-9743 to schedule a blood donation appointment.

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