Houston TV reporter helps rescue truck driver in Harvey floodwaters
Note: This story originally appeared in USA TODAY.
HOUSTON – As the floodwaters in north Houston began to rise, an 18-wheeler driver found himself trapped in his flooded cab. He could only think of one thing: “Lord, help just get me out safe.”
KHOU 11 News reporter Brandi Smith and photographer Mario Sandoval, who were covering flooding on Beltway 8 at the Hardy Toll Road, spotted the flooded truck and saw the man inside.
Smith urged the man, named Robert, to stay inside his truck and to not try to swim to safety.
A Harris County Sheriff truck towing a boat drove by. The deputies were on the way to another rescue, but Smith flagged the truck down and alerted the deputies to the man below.
“Are you guys headed to the truck right here?” Smith asked the deputies.
“No,” they said.
“There’s a truck driver stuck right here in about 10 feet of water,” Smith said.
The deputies pulled over and alerted Robert they were going to rescue him as floodwaters continued to fill his cab. One of the deputies told Smith it’s the same location a truck driver died in floodwaters during the Tax Day floods in 2016.
Deputies safely pulled Robert out of the cab and onto the truck and back on dry land.
“I just thank God that you guys were right here to get me and put me back on land safely,” Robert told Smith and the deputies. “I appreciate you.”