HOUSTON - For five years, Travis Garms has called Texas home. The Janesville, Minnesota, native and his family live about 10 miles south of the heart of downtown Houston.

To be safe, Garms had his wife their two sons and family dog travel to Dallas and stay with friends about 250 miles from Houston while he waited out the storm at their home until he himself needed to evacuate.

“It was Sunday about 6 a.m. when our house started flooding, and by 11 a.m. is when I had to evacuate,” Garms said. “It was really about a 2 mile walk in 2-3 feet deep water to get somewhere where someone to pick me up.”

Garms said most Houston homes don’t have basements and the water in his home before he left rose to about 4 feet.

“Waist deep," he said. "So you think about your kitchen counter tops. The water went up to basically my kitchen counter tops.”

Thousands of people have been evacuated since heavy rains have pounded the Houston metro area, causing rising rivers and catastrophic flash flooding.

“The boys' school is flooded out, too," he said. "So not knowing the future of that, knowing when they can get some normalcy back, that’s hard.”

Garms said it’s been difficult feeling helpless, but all they have lost inside of their home are just things and can be replaced.

“I think the worst part is, I mean, gosh, we had a catastrophic event," he said. "We just lost our house. I mean, that’s where we lived for five years. That’s not an easy thing to deal with. However, all the people helping one another and people reaching out from our neighbors to friends and family in Minnesota, that means a lot. We’re thankful.”

YOU CAN HELP: Donate to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts

RELATED: Learn how to avoid disaster relief scams