Over the past few days, Hurricane Harvey has ripped through the Houston area, causing unprecedented destruction. Residents fled to shelter, but not everyone could get to safety on their own. And so heroes emerged to help, sometimes from unlikely places. And these videos of people being rescued from Hurricane Harvey show the power of compassion amid the storm's damage. The clips are a vital reminder of humanity's resilience and strength in the wake of devastation that may very well linger for years.
The storm dumped over 30 inches of rain on parts of the region. Highways turned into rivers, while entire homes were destroyed by the water. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that 30,000 people have had to go to temporary shelters because of the flooding, while the death toll from Harvey continues to climb. But as bad news piles up, one can take a small measure of comfort from Mister Rogers' famous advice about what to do during scary times: "Look for the helpers," Fred Rogers said that his mother always told him to do.
So, where were the helpers during Hurricane Harvey? As evidenced by these videos, they came out in droves. First came the men and women of the Houston police force, the Coast Guard, and the entire Texas National Guard, who did everything in their power to bring vulnerable people to safety.
These two videos show the police carrying children out of the waters, while Coast Guard members performed air evacuations:
And plenty of citizens who weren't members of official rescue forces turned out to help, too.
Some risked their lives to help strangers they saw stranded in dangerous waters, some donated their boats since many cars couldn't get through the rainwater, and others still went off to find family members who were affected by the flooding.
Many reporters were on the front lines of the storm, and they stepped in to help as well. For example, CNN reporter Ed Lavandera was riding on a volunteer rescue boat when he and the others onboard heard a trapped family calling for help. Lavandera put down his microphone so that he and the rest of the crew could pull an elderly couple, their daughter, and their dogs to safety.
And when reporter Brandi Smith from KHOU11 News in Houston found a truck driver trapped inside his car, she flagged down a rescue crew who had not noticed him, and directed them to where they could pull him out.
These stories are only some examples of the selfless rescues going on around Houston right now. And if you'd like to chip in as well but can't make it to Texas, there are plenty of ways you can help Harvey victims from your own home, too.