Flood Heroes

Unlikely Heroes Emerge During Flooding In Texas

Texas has recently been stricken by a barrage of rain that does not seem to want to abate, causing extreme flooding that, in some areas, has caused record flooding. The Brazos River in Fort Bend County, southwest of Houston, Texas, is one such river overwhelmed by flooding. Running from New Mexico to the Gulf of Mexico, the Texas river crested May 31 at 54 feet. This Texas river set a record topping its previous flood stage, from 1994, by three feet, reports CBS News.

National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Overpeck notes that while the Brazos River may recede a bit, it will be quite a while, more than likely at least three weeks, before the Texas river reaches a more normal level after the major flooding.

“There’s so much water on the Brazos that it’s going to take a long time to drain through the whole river and drain out into the Gulf of Mexico.”

Residents of the Texas county say that while they are accustomed to flooding, this is so extreme no one could have seen it coming. One homeowner, Ryan Smith, explains how quickly the flooding went from annoying to dangerous.

“I thought we were going to be safe. I didn’t know it was going to come up this fast. Literally within hours, at 10 o’clock this morning, all the yards were dry. It just came up that quick.”

When dangerous flooding occurs, like that in Texas this week, ordinary people are thrust into heroism, as tragedy can strike in a split second. From the very smallest good deed to the most life saving, every act of kindness takes on extra meaning during these times.

One man from the Brazos River Bottom, trapped in his home due to flooding on the roads, struck out on a dangerous mission to bring sustenance to his nearby neighbors, who were still home bound. The Dallas Morning News reports that 71-year-old Gary Gostecnik was not about to allow the flooding to waylay him for one more moment. As soon as the roads were passable, he set out on his John Deere 8630 tractor and headed to the nearest Whataburger, several miles away in Sealy, Texas. On the way, he picked up his wife and daughter. The Texas trio not only snagged a tasty lunch for themselves, but they also ordered burgers and pies for their neighbors, delivering the food on that John Deere tractor.

Gary’s wife, Carol, was more than pleased to be reunited with her husband. “I’m so glad that he is safe. We are blessed that our house has not flooded. Unfortunately, many of our neighbors were not so lucky.”

While this heroic deed may not have been life-saving, it very likely saved the sanity of their isolated neighbors.

The majority of Texas flooding victims are rescued from deep and rushing waters. In a bizarre situation, three men who were stopped in traffic in Hickory Creek, Texas, witnessed a car crash through the barricades and careen into the flooded waters below the Lewisville Lake Bridge. According to Fox 4 News, Jeff McMart, James Espita, and Allen Harrison responded immediately to the sight, leaping from their vehicles and diving into the flooded lake to rescue a mother and her 9-year-old son.

Both the mother and child were safely rescued from the flooding, but the story does not end there. Texas investigators determined that the mother actually crashed into the water intentionally in an attempt to drown herself, as well as her young son. The mother is being evaluated, and the boy is safe with relatives.

Another daring rescue from the Texas flooding happened near Houston late last month, according to a related report by the Inquisitr. The flood waters came up so fast at the Cypress Trails Equestrian Center in Humble, Texas, that the horse stables were flooding well before the owners expected the flooding to hit their land.

Owner Darolyn Butler said she tracked the storm until about 2 a.m., when the storm appeared to be on its way out. When she woke up one hour later, the stables were flooding.

Over 100 people, from first responders to normal citizens, pitched in to save the horses, which numbered 70-100. Though horses can swim, the rushing flood waters exhausted the horses, and many of them became tangled in something beneath the flood water. Astonishingly, the vast majority of the horses were saved, and veterinarian Dr. Dori Hertel did not find any major injuries in the frightened and exhausted horses.

Extreme flooding brings people together in unusual ways. Strangers on the street become comrades in arms as they fight flooding waters to save people and animals from the murky depths of the flood waters. The flooding in Texas, which happened so suddenly and violently, has certainly brought Texas citizens together in a common good.

The flooding in Texas is far from over, as storms have been forecast for June 1.

[Image credit: David J. Phillip/Associated Press]