Texan of the Year Finalists: Hurricane Harvey's Ragtag Armada of Good Ol' Boys

It was an unprecedented call for help during a catastrophic flood unlike anything Texas has ever seen.As Hurricane Harvey swamped the southeastern part of the state, officials in Houston, Port Arthur, Beaumont and beyond acknowledged what flood-stranded Texans were already frighteningly aware of: First responders were overwhelmed by 911 calls and needed private citizens to do a slew of high-water rescues.Propelled by their boats and a desire to help, big-hearted folks responded from near and far, pulling fishing vessels or hauling jet skis. Others paddled kayaks and canoes — or even slightly rickety rafts — in their own neighborhoods.Over the last week of August, volunteers answered tens of thousands of calls for help. Neighbors helped neighbors — or more often, strangers helped strangers — to safety amid a historic and dangerous deluge.While the flotillas of Good Samaritans tried to work with authorities when possible, mostly it was good ol' boys passing tips and cell numbers about the most pressing emergency of the moment.  Continue reading...

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