Houstonians pitched-in Sunday to help each other in the most severe Bayou City flooding anyone could remember.
The Meyerland area of Southwest Houston is notorious for high water but residents said it is the worst ever after torrential rains from Harvey.
Neighbors made their way into a portable classroom at an elementary school to create their own shelter.
“The gate was open for the school and I happen to find one room that was open. It had AC and it had power so I’ve been bringing people in,” neighbor Jorge Rodriguez said.
His own home was uninhabitable but he was helping other people, despite a threat of arrest for using the school without official approval.
“There’s nowhere to go. And the Coast Guard is dropping people here too, so what am I going to do with those people,” Rodriguez said.
Coast Guard helicopters used a park on relatively dry land beside the school for a landing site after rescue missions to flooded houses.
Dorothy Krause with her dog Coco was one of the passengers. The 87-year-old woman said the floodwaters rose fast.
“I had no cell phone. I opened up my window and I yelled help, and my next door neighbor heard me. And she waded over and helped me to her house. They were all in the attic,” Krause said.
The woman said relatives had trouble reaching her and they were also busy at a hospital with another relative who is ill.
So Dorothy Krause took shelter in the school.
"I’m safe, I’m not worried about that," she said.
Some neighbors walked out of the flooded neighborhood with a few valuable possessions. Volunteers used boats to rescue other people.
Streets were flooded in so many places around low lying Houston that driving any distance was nearly impossible.
Uber and Lyft driver Sacremento Arvizu went exploring his own neighborhood near Bellfort Avenue and Wilcrest to see if he could help people in need of a ride. He did not get far.
“It’s not safe to drive,” he said. “The best thing to do is just stay home.”
At that intersection, a tow truck hooked to a car was flooded, too. The truck driver said the water rose quickly and the flood was deeper than he realized.
People waded through the high water, but neighbor Max Murland said the flood water is mixed with sewage that he saw surging from overwhelmed utility lines beneath the street near his home.
“The manhole covers are off,” he said. “So if you’re walking across the street there‘s a good chance you could drown.”
Heavy rain continued to pour on drenched Houston all day Sunday with more in the forecast.