Hurricane Harvey devastated a number of small towns along the Southeast Texas coast — but the floodwaters that fell in the days after it first made landfall brought unparalleled levels of damage.
Homes that sat on flood plains were almost completely submerged, and the water just kept rising. Subdivisions as far as 70 and 80 miles from the Gulf of Mexico’s shoreline found themselves standing in feet of water inside of their own homes, and the millions of residents of cities like Houston and the surrounding areas meant that quick and easy escape was nearly impossible. Many were left with no other choice but to call for help and wait to be rescued by boat or helicopter.
The rescues were highly televised, showing the world just how much trouble the Texans were in.
One rescue effort showed a woman navigating her own small boat into a neighborhood down flooded streets, using the tiny craft to get personal belongings out for residents being rescued by larger vessels so as to make more room on those boats.
Another showed a news crew wading into a flooded home to rescue an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s, who had been stuck sitting in the rapidly rising water all day.
While families were seen carrying bags of belongings and their own children, though, one news crew caught a man making a different kind of special rescue via helicopter.
Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York was one of a number of US State officials who authorized the mobilization of his own state’s military and rescue resources to help the Harvey victims get rescued. One of the New York Air National Guard Helicopters that made its way down to Houston caught this rescue on film, not long after they managed to bring a family of nine — newborn baby and all — to safety.
As you can see from the video, the helicopter lowers a basket to rescue a man who appears to be stranded on his own.
He gets into the basket with little problem, then is lifted up in to the air and to safety — but as the crews begin to pull him and the basket into their aircraft, they notice that he’s not alone, after all.
Instead, he had managed to rescue a small dog while trying to get himself to safety, ensuring that the furry friend didn’t perish in the rising waters seen all over the area.
Houston alone was hit by more than 51 inches of rainfall, and the aftereffects were devastating. Thousands of homes were destroyed by the rainwater, and more were damaged – either for the first time or in addition to the rainfall flooding — when the city’s dams began to overflow and had to be released before the water elsewhere had gone down, just to prevent a breakage in the system.
That unfortunately left more than a few animals around the city in severe danger — but for this little pup, things didn’t turn out so bad after all. The selflessness of the man being rescued, who made sure he wasn’t the only one getting pulled to safety, likely saved the dog’s life in the process.
Watch his heroic efforts to rescue the family below: