Image Credits: David J Phillips/AP

Hurricane Harvey, now a tropical storm, has ravaged Texas and some parts of Louisiana for the past several days. It has left homes damaged, flood waters high, and over ten people dead. It is estimated that Texas has received over 50 inches of rainfall. There have been a lot of heartbreaking stories coming out of the storm, and there are countless organizations working to help people find safety, locate lost loved ones, recover belongings, and feel safety again. You can find some of those organizations here and learn how you can help give back.

If you’re like me, you’ve also been amazed at the heartwarming stories of heroism that have come out of Texas during this storm, people risking their lives to save others, going above and beyond to help their fellow man. It may often seem like our country is divided, but we always come together in times of crisis. Hurricane Harvey has been no exception.

Let us applaud the heroes as we work to help those affected by this storm. We continue to pray for their continued safety.

Texas pet rescues

David J Phillip/AP

We all love animals. The Internet has a special place in its mechanical heart for a story about an abandoned animal being rescued. When news began to break that animals were in danger in the flood waters and often abandoned by their owners, people sprang into action.  Many groups worked to help save animals in animal shelters that were quickly filling with water and household pets that were left behind. In the above picture, you can see Joe Garcia carrying his dog through the floodwaters.  One of the most heartwarming stories I read involving a pet rescue was a boat full of men who saved a woman and the 20 dogs she was looking after when she refused to leave them behind. You can learn more about that and some of the other pet rescues making the rounds on social media here.

Texas grandma rescued on jet ski

Webborwebbor / Reddit

Civilians with proper aquatic equipment have been coming out in full force in response to the flooding from Hurricane Harvey. They’ve used personal boats and the like to rescue trapped people and animals. One of the most talked about images on the internet is the one of this grandma being rescued from her almost completely submerged foyer by a man on a jet ski. There is obviously a lot of fear and trepidation in this situation, but the smile on her and her rescuer’s face can serve as a reassurance to us all. You can read more about her rescue here.

Rescue of nursing home residents

Trudy Lampson

In a story that could have gone very badly , some happiness was found as patients in an assisted living home in Dickinson, Texas went viral. Photos were released of them sitting waist-deep in flood water within their home, waiting to be rescued. The world was immediately terrified and scared for these residents, but there was a happy ending. The National Guard arrived and rescued all of the residents, taking them to safety. Many are crediting a viral tweet with the picture for their rescue. It resulted in over a thousand people contacting local rescue teams about the situation. Maybe social media isn’t so bad after all. You can learn more about this story here.

Daryl Hudeck’s rescue of Aidan and Catherine Pham

David J Phillips/AP

One of the most prominent images to come out of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation so far is this image of Daryl Hudeck, a SWAT member of the Houston Police, carrying Catherine Pham and her son, thirteen-month Aidan, to safety. Her husband and Aidan’s father were also rescued. Pham later posted on her Facebook, ““House is completely flooded, but at least we are all together. We are so thankful that God was looking over us today!” The Pham’s story has served as an inspiration for a country that often feels very divided to come together and protect those around us as crises rage. It is an especially poignant image of the care that the police and public servants in Texas are taking to protect and save their citizens. You can find out more about this story and hear from the photographer on his thoughts in the moment here.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member