Harvey scuttles Alpine family’s cruise, leaves them stuck in Houston

Posted at 9:42 PM, Aug 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-29 09:17:31-04

HOUSTON - A Utah family is trapped in Houston after the massive storm stalling over the Texas coastline canceled their cruise.

Now the family is spread throughout three different hotels in an unfamiliar city with little to no resources of their own.

The Magnussons are trying to stay positive but there's a lot of uncertainty on how and when they'll get home.

They spent a year planning this vacation with a group of 18 people to celebrate their parents' 50th anniversary but the storm canceled all of that - now they're stuck in Houston.

“The Coast Guard helicopters and the National Guard trucks coming by and the sirens and everyone on loud speakers telling people what to do,” Annie Magnusson of Alpine said.

Pictures taken by the family give us a glimpse of what is unfolding outside their hotel in Houston, while inside the roof is leaking and the floor is flooding.

“Today has been a little bit of a challenge,” Annie said. “A tiny hotel room with four children so there's six children in here so everyone is getting a little stir crazy.”

The family has been withstanding the storm since Saturday and Michael had to go get more food for his kids.

“I hit a point where I was wading through water up to my waist and a massive amount of rain came down and I had to turn around and head back,” Michael Magnusson said.

When he finally got to a store there were huge lines wrapping around the building.  Michael Magnusson described it as “apocalyptic.”  Most of the shelves were empty but he finally found a gas station that was stocked.

“We went up and down the snack aisles we got Twinkies, chips,” Michael Magnusson said. “Stuff I wouldn't normally want my kids to eat but we're going to be living off of that for a bit."

The family flew to Houston despite the storm because they got message after message from the cruise line that their ship would port from Galveston Sunday morning.

“We were concerned but if we cancel we're out the year of planning and money,” Michael Magnusson said.

It was hours before the family was supposed to board the ship that they got a text from Royal Caribbean saying the cruise was canceled.   The ship, Liberty of the Seas, then headed to Miami instead of Galveston.

But through it all, the family has seen countless acts of kindness of a community and strangers coming to lift each other out of the storm.

“Those are the things I want for my family,” Michael said. “It helps keep that faith in humanity.”

The family says the soonest they’ll be able to get home is Saturday on the flight they were supposed to take home after their cruise.