Ordinary Citizens Making Dramatic Rescues In Houston Flooding

Monday, August 28th 2017, 9:58 am
By: News On 6

Dramatic rescues are happening throughout the Houston area. Radar shows no end in sight to the rain from Tropical Storm Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane over the weekend. While thousands of people have been brought to safety by emergency crews since the storm came ashore, ordinary citizens are also stepping up to help. 

Search and rescue teams are working around the clock to bring stranded victims to safety, reports CBS News correspondent David Begnaud. More than 50,000 calls have been made to 911, overwhelming first responders. The Coast Guard only responded to a fraction of requests.

On Sunday, state and local officials pleaded for help. 

"I asked for volunteers to come forward with boats and high water vehicles," Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said. "There are a lot of people who just did it on their own."

Jeff Chase and a friend helped a family of four evacuate their flooded home on Sunday afternoon. 

"If everyone did this, we'd have a lot less to worry about," Chase said.

The family had been calling 911 since 6 a.m.

"Putting yourself in harm's way to help others is awesome," rescued Christine Bann said. 
Chase is just one of many people lending a hand. When a big-rig drifted into danger, good Samaritans grabbed some rope to pull the driver to safety.

"The spirit of Texas, it's what it's all about," Houston resident and good Samaritan Drameko Green said.

For those forced out of their homes, getting to dry land is only half the battle. Begnaud reports he saw so many young children under five years old just walking with their parents, and he didn't know where they were going. They were surrounded by water.

CBS News met Denise Lucille as she waded through waist-high water with six-month-old son after their apartment flooded. They were headed to their in-laws' house.