When Tropical Storm Beta was hovering off the coast of the southern United States it was doing what many storms do in the gulf, sending tidal surges and heavy rain into the shore line. It’s often those tidal surges and rains that cause the most problem for residents as they can wash out roads, homes, and businesses. Sometimes they wash out lives too.
Beta could have been much worse, there was a point where nearly 100 Houston residents were stranded, unable to get to dry ground, unable to be rescued, as emergency personnel were overwhelmed by the number of calls. But that’s where community comes in. You might even say, Good Samaritans took over the rescue work.
As Houston was hit with surges and rainfall totals surpassing a foot in parts of the city volunteers with trucks or specially equipped vehicles went out to help those who were in need. “We were just trying to get to 288, to the freeway, so we can make it home,” Houston, Texas, resident Helen Thompson said.
Helen was bringing Lonnie Thomas home from his dialysis appointment when they got trapped by the waters. Thomas has lived in the city for 72 years and says he never had seen flooding like it before. “We always go another way. Always find a way to get around the floods,” Thomas said.
The two were even stuck just across the street from a towtruck shop, but no help was coming, the trucks were all out helping others. The two were in their vehicle for over an hour when suddenly a total stranger came to their rescue.
“Just trying to help the people get out of the water. That’s all,” Tony Brown, their rescuer, said. “We’re just trying to be good citizens and help people get out, that’s all.” Tony and his friend pushed Thompson’s car safely out of the floodwaters with their truck.
Countless others had to be rescued or wade through waist high water to get to safety. But can you imagine what would have happened to an elder like Lonnie if no one had been there to help? An old man on Dialysis isn’t wading through high water safely. Thompson said they were relieved when Brown and his friend were able to push them to drier ground. “Thank God,” Thompson said. “Thank God for our neighbors.”
Mario Reyna was also out that day helping stranded drivers. He said that he, equipped for rescues in his hummer, came to the aid of one to two dozen people. “Just giving back, and I think if it were my mom, or my dad or my uncle, somebody out here that needed a hand that I would be able to do that for them,” Reyna said.
Lashuntrice Bradley was also saved by a bystander. “I actually picked my mother up from the airport, and I dropped her off. I thought it would be better to head back to my place before it got too bad,” she recalled. Then, it started to pour down again, she said, adding “as soon as I got on the road, I ran into the floodwaters.” Bradley found herself trapped in the flood, but volunteers and neighbors with lifted pick-up trucks came to her rescue. I really think that it’s excellent that they’re helping out. I don’t know what I would have done without them,” Bradley said.
These people, helping each other, are your Good News Story of the Day and you can find out even more here. But this just points out the importance of caring for each other; the ideal of what Love Your Neighbour means. Because if we don’t help one another through our struggles, we might be lost in the flood.
Story and Image from Accuweather.com