A Houston weatherman saved a man from drowning on live TV as historic floods continue to inundate the Texas city, forcing school closings and effectively shutting down portions of town, KTRK (Houston) is reporting.
KTRK reporter Steve Campion was covering the Houston floods early Monday morning, cameras rolling, when he heard the sounds of someone calling from help from behind him. Campion turned to see a man attempting to crawl out of his vehicle as the flood waters closed around him.
“Dude, you’ve got to get out of the car. You’ve got to get out!”
The reporter then waded into the waist-deep water and helped the man get to safety. Moments later, the flood waters surrounded the car and it sank below the surface.
The man, who identified himself only as Andy, insisted he was okay, although he appeared disoriented. He tried to go back to his car, but Campion stopped him.
In response to Campion’s historic actions, a Houston firefighters advocacy group jokingly offered the reporter a job with the Houston Fire Department.
— Fire Helping Fire (@FireHelpingFire) April 18, 2016
The National Weather Service warns drivers not to drive into water, especially if you can’t see the ground beneath the water.
“Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. People underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded. A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters.”
Elsewhere in Houston, according to KTRK, flash floods have effectively shut down parts of the city. Houston’s buses and light rail lines are closed Monday, and Houston’s two airports — Houston Hobby and Houston International — are both grounded to incoming and outgoing flights. Houston schools, as wells schools in several Houston suburbs, are closed.
The Houston Zoo and Harris County courts are also closed Monday, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has ordered all non-essential city employees to stay home.
As CNN reports, over a foot of standing water has covered some parts of the city. The area may well receive as much as 16 inches of rain before this storm system has moved out once and for all.
As of this writing, as many as 150 water rescues have taken place in Harris County alone. Nine hospitals have closed to new patients because of the flooding, and three apartment buildings have been evacuated while their residents take shelter at an area mall.
One of Houston’s main traffic arteries, Interstate 10, has been closed due to the flooding.
Meanwhile, the City of Houston warns residents to stay at home at all costs.
“This is a life-threatening emergency. Houston residents should avoid travel at all costs today.”
At present, there have been no deaths or injuries as a result of the floods.
The Houston metro area and most of southeast Texas remain under flash flood warning until 1 p.m. Central Time.
[Image via Shutterstock/northallertonman]