When high water from Harvey caught tens of thousands of Texans by surprise, volunteers with boats and high-profile vehicles joined emergency teams making rescues. San Antonio crews drove hundreds of miles to help.
Six months ago a group of guys from the Alamo city with hearts breaking for people they never even met, launched their boat in neighborhood after neighborhood, rescuing trapped homeowners.
Most of us saw the video footage of high water rescued being conducted during Harvey. Among the rescue crews in a west Houston neighborhood were four men from San Antonio. The volunteers left their families at home to face the wrath of Harvey. They risked all to help total strangers.
“There’s times where we got stranded, there were times where we didn’t know if we’d make it through high waters, there was times where we didn’t know where we were going to sleep,” said Frank Garza. “We were just awake for days but would be do it all over again. Anything to help somebody out.”
Looking back at the dangerous situation, Garza is still processing what he witnessed. Sam and Cynthia Navarez, Eric Dominguez and Rudy Mendez joined Garza on the rescue missions. One of their first stops was the Fleetwood neighborhood. Streets seemed to disappear under water in a matter of seconds. The homeowners who became flood victims that are still hurting.
“Now 6 months, look at my home,” said Mary Khoury.
She and her husband, Victor are still staying in a hotel. The first floor of their home is full of construction materials. The water line is still visible on the windows.
“Our neighbors, the national guard and the police, God bless them all,” said Victor Khoury. “They came and saved us all. We left with nothing.”
Struggling to start their lives over, the Khoury’s are also mourning the loss of mementos that can't be replaced.
They are also calling for accountability. The Khoury’s and many of their neighbors say the streets did not hold water until nearby reservoirs had water released from the dams.
“It’s not an act of God. We did not have the water from God. If it was we thank him for everything but it was a human mistake. And somebody has to compensate us,” said Victor Khoury. “I don’t want anything else, I just want my house back.”
His wife is also asking lawmakers to see that disaster funding actually gets into the hands of those who need it.
“I don’t have nothing. I’m waiting for Washington to solve that problem,” said Mary Khoury. “They’re making a joke out of out of us, out of this country to leave us in this situation.”
While six months have passed since the storm, boat crews and homeowners say moments from the flood will stay in their memory for a life time.