This too shall pass, Harvey victim says

Posted at 8:20 PM, Sep 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-01 20:20:50-04

BEAUMONT, TX (CNN) – A Texas firefighter who had been planning a wedding before Hurricane Harvey hit the state returned to his flooded home to find his fiancee’s wedding dress miraculously untouched by the storm.

The water in Kyle Parry’s Beaumont, TX, home began to rise Monday. His house had avoided the brunt of the storm until then, and the firefighter had worked back-to-back shifts for days rescuing others.

Parry salvaged what he could, elevating his beloved dirt bikes and taking his two dogs and six puppies.

Before evacuating, he grabbed his fiancee’s wedding dress and stuffed it into the top corner of the wardrobe, hoping it would stay dry.

On Thursday, Parry and his friend took a boat to Parry’s flooded neighborhood.

"I got out of the boat, and I am neck-deep in water. I open the door of my house, and I know it's a complete loss,” Parry told CNN.

Parry’s fiancee, Stephanie Hoekstra, watched a Facebook livestream from Ontario, Canada, where she lives, as Parry surveyed the damage, with water up to his chest in some places.

The firefighter had prepared Hoekstra for the worst earlier in the day.

In the flooded home, Parry navigated past floating furniture and now-destroyed paintings by his grandfather as he made his way to the wardrobe. The dirt bikes he had elevated were almost submerged.

But the dress, still bundled in the wardrobe’s top corner, had stayed dry – with not a stain on it – hanging just inches above the water.

Pictures show Parry later back in the boat with the dress safely inside.

With only the dress, the couple, who was set to get married Sept. 10, have postponed the wedding.

Hoekstra says she hopes to travel to Texas soon.

"We love each other so much. We'll get married another day. We'll be OK,” she told CNN.

Parry says he had no renters’ insurance, and his landlord had no flood insurance. His sister-in-law started a GoFundMe campaign for the couple.

Copyright 2017 Kyle Parry via CNN. All rights reserved.