Last Monday, I walked through the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston and saw a man wearing only a hospital gown.
Naturally, I asked him about the get-up.
He told me he hadn't had time to change. He barely had time to climb up onto the furniture in his home, he added. He was diabetic and it was all he could do to hang on with his left hand as the water swirled up around his chest and he used his right hand to wield a hammer to beat off a pack of snakes. Luckily, a neighbor rescued him and brought him to George R. Brown, where she was watching over him.
There are thousands of stories like that one. Hurricane Harvey is the second superstorm I've covered since moving to this city in 2000. The scale of the devastation is remarkable, and it's hard to imagine there won't be more like this one. Even so, the suffering has been mitigated by people lending their friends, neighbors, and total strangers a hand when it mattered most.
The raging floodwaters of Buffalo Bayou trap a truck on an overpass going over Memorial Drive. It quickly became a common sight to see vehicles backing down off such ramps or just going the wrong way on highways.
A rescue boat comprised of ordinary citizens looks for individuals in need in an inundated neighborhood in Northeast Houston on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017
Houstonian Karen Young with her Beagle, Krypto, escaped the overflowing banks of Buffalo Bayou on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017.
New arrivals at the George R. Brown Convention Center check in with American Red Cross officials on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. The center was opened the previous Friday and officials expected 5,000 people. By Monday, there were more than 10,000, and The Toyota Center was opened as a spill-over emergency shelter.
A young man hides his face as he sits handcuffed in the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017
When your dogs have to go but it's Harveying outside on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston
Members of the National Guard confer with citizens in Northeast Houston on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017
A Bloodhound enjoying the comforts of the pet-friendly emergency shelter hall at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017
Evacuees seek refuge in one of the halls at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017
Coming back to Houston Saturday night, Aug. 26, 2017 after covering the devastation from Hurricane Harvey in the Corpus Cristi area. The rain was so intense that traffic on the I-69 was following a Harris County Sheriff's vehicle in single file.