Hurricane Harvey has absolutely hammered Texas and Louisiana leaving catastrophic flooding in its wake. KHOU 11 News reporter Brandi Smith and photographer Mario Sandoval were out reporting on the disaster and found themselves an unlikely part of the story when a truck driver in desperate need of rescue entered the picture.
Smith and Sandoval were flooded out of the KHOU studio and were out covering the scene on Beltway 8 at the Hardy Toll Road. Smith and Sandoval spotted a semitrailer truck driver trapped in the flooded water. Smith alerted Harris County sheriff’s deputies and waited for a rescue boat to come to the trapped driver’s aid.
“I don’t have any word on how long he’s been there or what kind of condition he’s in,” said the resilient reporter. “I’m sure he’s very wet, very cold, very frightened. I am terrified for him, so I can’t imagine the level of fear he has here.”
Deputies were able to remove the driver and bring him to safety. Smith and Sandoval continued their live coverage throughout the whole event, but it wasn’t until later they learned their broadcast was cut.
“The #KHOU11 signal cut out just as Harris County Sheriff’s Office crews got their rescue boat in the water to pull a semi driver out of his flooded cab,” explained Smith on Facebook. “I’ve had SO many people asking if he made it out OK and I wanted to share the video. (We kept going and rolling until the camera’s battery died, not knowing we’d been knocked off the air.) They pull him out around the 4:40 mark. THANK GOD for that crew.”
In just six hours, Smith’s Facebook video has received 690,000 views and that total is swelling every minute.
If you’re interested in learning how to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey’s severe flooding, we have a guide on the different options available to you and your desire to lend a hand.