HOUSTON -- Ordinary people are doing extraordinary things all over Houston. This is just one example. More than a dozen people formed a human chain to rescue an elderly man trapped in his vehicle on I-10. As the flood waters began to carry him away, the group sprang into action, and saved his life.
These kind of thing does not surprise Texas Governor Greg Abbott. "Texans really step up and protect and aid their fellow Texans."
Despite heroic acts by civilians and first responders, the death toll is in double digits and may keep climbing.
There is some good news for travelers-- Planes are flying in and out of both Houston airports again, but some flights have been canceled. Check with the airline.
"What`s unique about this storm is the area of devastation," says Elaine Duke, acting Homeland Security Secretary. "Also the amount of rainfall which is now measuring in some places over 50 inches, which is more than the annual rainfall. And also how long it has been."
Today, Houston City Council approved moving $20 million from the general budget into an emergency fund specifically for clean-up. Sort of a "rainy day fund."
The mayor fully expects the federal government to replenish the city`s coffers.
"I`m hoping that people at the federal level, at the very top, will understand that this was catastrophic and that they will be responsive and not put us on 'you do the clean-up and send us your bill later on' that will be totally, totally unacceptable."
Already, FEMA has received 210,000 applications and shelled out more than $37 million in individual assistance. Those in need should register at disasterassistance.gov for immediate support.
"Those that have flood insurance need to be activating their NFIP policies," says Brock Long, FEMA Administrator. "Those that don`t will most likely be dealing with the small business administration."
Harvey, by the numbers, is astounding.
According to Governor Abbott, more than 2,000 DPS troopers have been deployed. More than 14,000 Texas National Guard have, and that includes about 600 vehicles, 500 boats, and 100 choppers.
So far, the Texas National Guard has rescued more than 8,500 and evacuated more than 26,000.
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has evacuated 5,000 from state parks and more than 32,000 people are in shelters right now in Texas. But they`re temporary. FEMA helps transition evacuees into hotels and motels. Around 1,800 have been placed so far.
Long says, "It takes a lot of time to understand the true cost of this disaster, but it`s going to be a huge one."
Fortunately, donations are pouring in from all over the country.
"It's not me. I'm just the one organizing it." Houston Texan JJ Watt kicked off his fundraiser Sunday hoping to raise $200,000.00. He passed that within the first two hours. Now he`s blown passed $6 million and upped his goal to $10 million. In typical JJ fashion, he`s not taking the credit.
Now that the Texans can get back home from Dallas, Thursday`s preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys has been canceled. Ticket holders can get a refund, but if they don`t, the money will still go to the hurricane relief fund.
Several NFL teams are each committing a million dollars and our own Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has pledged $2 million.
First we felt the wrath of Harvey. Now we`re feeling the love across the whole country.