The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Tommy+Edwards%2C+Class+of+1987%2C+and+ocean+and+Coastal+resources+freshman%2C+Elizabeth+Schneider%2C+used+a+family+boat+to+rescue+neighbors+and+fellow+Texans+in+Bellaire.
Photo by Courtesy

Tommy Edwards, Class of 1987, and ocean and Coastal resources freshman, Elizabeth Schneider, used a family boat to rescue neighbors and fellow Texans in Bellaire.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Houston was left with rivers and lakes in what usually serves as roads, leaving rescue teams and Houstonians the only option of using their boats for transportation. 

Members of the Aggie family braved these hazardous water conditions to help those in need, including family members Tommy Edwards, Class of 1987, and ocean and Coastal resources freshman, Elizabeth Schneider, who took to the streets of Bellaire, Texas on their family boat to aid neighbors and fellow Texans.

“We happened to have a boat, and the water in our driveway was high enough that we could use it to help out,” Edwards said.

The family first took the boat out to help friends lift their cars from “neck-deep” water on main roads in Bellaire, Edwards said.

As the water rose and the flooding worsened in Bellaire, Edwards and his family went from house to house, transporting people to safety — residents were trapped in their homes because of the severe flooding.

“There were people on kayaks everywhere, just trying to get away,” Edwards said.

Edwards rescued 20 people and 10 dogs from their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Among  Edwards’ passengers on his boat were officers from the Houston Police Department.

“It was kind of funny that they were asking for our help. It reminded us that everyone is wrapped up in this,” Edwards said.

One group of passengers of Edwards’ boat snapped a photograph of their family that ended up on Senator Ted Cruz’s Twitter account, who tweeted his support for the family.

“Texans are answering the call! Tommy Edwards brought his boat to Bellaire to help fellow Texans in need! #HarveyRelief,” Cruz’s tweet read. 

Edwards and his family were among many others who utilized their own resources to help neighbors and fellow Houstonians impacted by the hurricane. His story is not a unique one, Edwards said, “everyone is doing it.”

Along with private citizens, companies and non-profit organizations are pitching in to aid in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Allison Edwards, University of Texas nursing professor and Tommy Edwards’ wife, is partnering with the Red Cross to provide healthcare to those affected by Harvey.

“The city is absolutely devastated and we need all the help we can get,” Allison Edwards said. 

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