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First responders, volunteers arrive by the hundreds for Harvey relief in Houston

KSAT Storm Chaser crew captures heartwarming moments during aftermath tour

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HOUSTON – As the waters slowly begin to recede inch by inch from severely flooded areas, first responders and volunteers from all over are continuing to arrive by the hundreds, in hopes of lending a helping hand to Houston and its surrounding cities.

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In the first rain-free day for the city since Harvey arrived just three days ago, KSAT’s Storm Chaser truck traveled around Houston to survey the heavily impacted neighborhoods affected by the storm.

However, just 90 miles east of downtown Houston, flooding in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area progressed after receiving more than 25 inches of heavy rain from Tropical Storm Harvey in a matter of 24 hours.

The KSAT Storm Chaser crew was aware of the tragic situation in the cities, but unable to make the trip to east Texas safely.

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For Ricardo Rodriguez from Palestine, Texas, risking his life in order to save others is why he made the four-hour trip to Houston on Friday.

“I got two little girls and I don’t want leave kids out here,” Rodriguez, 26, said. “And so we’ve pulled people out and we’ve had 10 people in my jeep standing and stacked in trying to get them out tall waters.”

Rodriguez said he’s doing everything he can with the supplies he has that includes his trusty, old, two-door red Jeep.

“We’ve had water coming in my doors and my Jeep sits about three and a half feet off the ground and still driving through it, trying to get them out,” Rodriguez said.

For Ricardo Rodriguez, making the four hour trip from Palestine to Houston was worth every minute after saving people from tough situations. pic.twitter.com/tRVaz8aqx2

— Adrian Garcia (@KSATadrian) August 30, 2017

The one image that haunts Rodriguez during his rescue missions is when there’s no more room in his Jeep and has to leave a kid or any person behind.

“The fact of leaving a kid behind and you don’t have enough room and you have to go back not knowing what’s going to happen to that kid when you go back to get him,” Rodriguez said.

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Rodriguez said he plans to head over to the Beaumont-Port Arthur cities to help with the rescue and recovery efforts after finding many residents there have called for help over social media.

Like Rodriguez, a countless number of volunteers were seen heading east on Highway 90 in the direction of the two cities, using their vehicles to pull large boats and rafts.

The support heading towards East Texas even included some first responders from the San Antonio-area, such as Bexar County Emergency Service District, Schertz Fire Rescue, Converse Fire and EMS, Alamo Heights Fire Rescue and the Universal City Fire Department.

This afternoon 30 SAPD officers began preparations for today's departure to Houston, Texas. Just moments ago these men ...

Posted by San Antonio Police Department on Wednesday, August 30, 2017

On Wednesday, the San Antonio Police Department announced 25 of its police officers along with five supervisors are being sent to provide any assistance the Houston Police Department may need.

Below is a collection of images and videos captured by KSAT’s Storm Chaser truck of areas affected by Harvey in Houston and surrounding cities.  

agarcia@ksat.com

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