Dispatches from Houston – Chapter 2. Ark Five Two

Part 4. Cypress Rescues

Monday, August 28, 2017 7:44 AM (Via Text Message)

Me: Lost your location. Not pulling up anymore.
Daniel: (Dan resends location marker) Try now.
Me: Yup. Got it.

Monday, August 28, 2017 10:15 AM (Facebook post by Daniel)

Little girl is in shock. But they are alive; this is what you have done with your donation. Thank you all.

Monday, August 28, 2017 10:28 AM (Facebook post by Daniel)

If you send me an address please send a screenshot of the address in Maps, hard to use phone because it’s wet.

Monday, August 28, 2017 11:58 AM (Via Text Message)

Me: Lost location again.
Daniel: Everything is okay. Bad reception. We are in Cypress.

Monday, August 28, 2017 11:21 AM (Facebook post by Daniel)

One of our boats flipped, we are en route.

Monday, August 28, 2017 11:21 AM (Facebook post by Daniel)

Pregnant and two very scared dogs.

Monday, August 28, 2017 6:17 PM (Facebook post by Daniel)

Hey all, quick update, we were VERY saturated today so I apologize I couldn’t respond, I’ve had probably a hundred texts, messages and between the work we were doing and how wet it was (did not stop raining once today) I could barely use my phone, [and] I’m pretty sure I damaged it because I forgot my waterproof case. EMS has suspended search and rescue operation at this point so we are done for the day.

We were in Cyprus today and once you are tasked you kind of get stuck in one area. There are thousands of people who need rescued and there is simply not enough man power. If you have an air boat please consider coming down!! They very actively need civilians with boats here, the municipal services can in no way handle this alone. Air boats are doing the heavy lifting because we can get where the other boats can’t. I’ll make a post once we get settled articulating more thoughts on that for those who want to come down.

I can’t thank you all enough for the support, looking things up, passing information and donating. We’ve had a bunch of donations and I promise every cent is being put to work!!! Any residual money will be donated to an entity down here once we pack up and head home. You all have helped more than just us, we’ve not only been operating our two boats, but fueling others as well and passing information to EMS that they wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. While it’s heart wrenching seeing these folks literally lose everything but what they can fit in a backpack, it’s truly heartwarming and emotional seeing everyone come together and work to help fellow man; even people that didn’t have boats were out doing anything and everything they could to include a local shop who helped fix a starter we sheared off.

I’m going to go through and start responding to messages giving priority to those who are trying to get down here, please don’t be offended if I don’t respond, I just don’t have the bandwidth to get to everyone. Please continue the support and keep these poor folks in your prayers…

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 7:47 AM (Facebook post by Daniel)

DO NOT GO TO THE FOLLOWING LOCATION UNLESS YOU HAVE A BOAT. If you are coming in with a boat to the north-west side of town (in or near Cypress), meet at the following location:

Shell Station
21480 Fairfield place
Cypress, Tx

The crossroad is: Cypress Wood (the location shows up a quarter mile off on my map, just look for the shell Station thee)

This is the temporary launching point for the boats. DO NOT GO HERE trying to get help or trying to pass addresses for stranded people. I understand that those of you reading this are frustrated and wanting to get your loved ones out, but if you go there and impede command operations by saturating the officers with questions and such, you’ll only succeed in delaying getting boats out to where they are needed.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 8:27 AM (Facebook post by Daniel)

If I know you PERSONALLY and you are coming down with a boat, text me a picture of your receipt for gas and I will pay pal you the money to cover it.

EDIT: its not me paying for it, its all the amazing people who have been supporting us and donating who are covering this. Thank you all!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 9:22 AM (Facebook post by Daniel)

When sharing or sending addresses of stranded people, please send typed, full and complete addresses as well as a current map screen shot (not a shared screen shot) and include the date and time. Everything is 100% wet including us (it’s still pouring rain and we are constantly in and out of water) and touch screen phones are difficult to work when wet; simple tasks like clicking a link or starting a video are doable, bouncing between a half address screen shot from Facebook and maps, then typing out a full address is very difficult and time consuming. Honestly, I’m getting so many addresses and we are so damn busy that at this point I’m not even bothering with the ones that are incomplete, screen shots of screen shots, etc, I’m only dealing with the ones I can simply copy and paste and share. We simply do not have the time to do it any other way. I’m also busy so please pass the info to EMS. If you or loved ones are trapped near Cypress call Harris County Sheriffs Office at (713)221-6000.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 9:30 AM (Facebook post by Daniel)

We are back at it again. We are using a flooded creek as a road to get to a flooded neighborhood. The water is 30 feet deep here. It is normally 5 feet deep.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 10:59 AM (Facebook post by Daniel)

I CANNOT answer phone calls or Facebook calls. Unless you are on a very small list of folks I’m communicating with please refrain from calling. If you don’t know if you’re in that list, you are not.

Really not trying to be a dick but I’m dependent on the phone for navigation and such, and when I get calls while I am using maps or trying to get pertinent info out it is disruptive to the process.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 11:06 AM (Facebook post by Daniel)

Cypress is more or less cleared out, we are being re-tasked to Black Horse neighborhood.

Part 5. The Apartments

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 11:59 AM (Facebook Live post by Daniel)

Apartment complex rescue. Note: The following snippets are from Dan’s live video feed while he and his crew search through a flooded apartment building complex. The narrative is told against a backdrop of cars sitting under large carports, in 2-3 feet of standing water as the crew searches for an address within the sprawling apartment complex where they’ve been told a family is waiting to be evacuated.

(2:00)

Daniel (responding to a question about the address they are looking for): Yeah, the numbers are going up, so 57 should be up ahead.

Russ: There are a lot of people (still in the flooded apartment complex, watching the airboat idle through their apartment’s parking lot from second story windows and balconies).

Daniel: There are a lot people.

Russ: They don’t want to go.

Daniel: A lot of second story people.

(3:40)

Daniel: Yeah, we got a call to an apartment complex. We still have a lot people here. We are trying to find a specific apartment, and after that we will start getting everyone else out.

(7:42)

Daniel (talking to sheriff deputy): Want to go knock on that door?
Deputy: Yeah. (Dan follows the sheriff deputy out of the air boat and into the standing water).
Daniel: I’m gonna get a fucking staff infection running around in this water with all these cuts on my leg.

(8:52)

Daniel (walking back to boat after checking in some people in an apartment): Okay Facebook, right now we are Boat 52 but that sounds stupid, so we need a call sign. If you guys have call sign suggestions that include the number 52, put it in the comments.

(13:11)

Daniel (Responding to a Facebook Live comment about why they weren’t using waders to protect against infections in the bacteria filled water): Yeah, we decided not to use waders because there have been multiple times we’ve been in chest high water and the waders would just fill with water and that would put us in a bad situation. This water here is actually pretty calm, but in most of the places where we’ve been, there has been a pretty good current and having waders full of water in a flooding river is a bad idea. I know we are risking infection [by not using waders] because we’re all cut up, but it’s a risk we are going to have to take.

(8:20)

Lady (on second floor apartment landing as Dan walks by): …On my Facebook.
Daniel: I’m sorry, ma’am?
Lady: I got a post on my Facebook
Daniel: Uh huh.
Lady: I got a post on my Facebook from Splendora. One of the people died and they’re in the house. What do they do?
Daniel: Oh, I don’t know. There’s been about 8 fatalities that we’ve heard about.
Lady: This one is in Splendora.
Daniel: Oh, I don’t know anything about the towns, ma’am, to be honest. We’re pretty shut off here; I mean we’ve been in this specific area, in Cypress, so we don’t know; outside of that we don’t know. I’m sorry. There’s been a lot of misinformation going on right now, so I would take whatever you hear with a grain of salt.
Lady: Thank you so much.
Daniel: No problem.

(15:51)

Deputy (Calling down from apartment landing where he spoke to trapped occupants): Hey Skeeter, we’ve got three kids and three adults (who need to be evacuated).
Daniel: Alight, we can take them.
Deputy: I’m gonna put one adult and the kids on Russell’s boat and the other on here (Skeeter’s boat).
Dan: We can do that.
Deputy: Group one has an elderly female.
Dan: Do you need help bringer her down?
Deputy; We don’t know.
Dan: Okay, I’m gonna come up there.

Dan makes his way to the staircase and climbs out of the water on to the second floor landing from where he can see several people inside the small apartment.

Dan: Are all these people going?
Deputy: No, only six.

A man in the apartment explains that his family is fine and they are staying, but the others are from the first-floor apartment below and have been staying in the second floor apartment with them since the water rose. It’s that family, including and elderly lady, that needs to be evacuated.

Dan walks into the crowded apartment, and the people stand there looking at him warily, as if unsure what to make of him. There are several white plastic trash bags and laundry baskets with their belongings throughout the small apartment.

Dan: How you guys doing?
Man: Okay.
Dan (to small children): You guys ready for a ride out?

Some of the kids laugh nervously.

Man (as he put’s his arm around his nervously laughing daughter): She is ready.

One by one, the family makes their way down the stairs to the water. Then rescuers pick up and carry the two smaller children from the bottom of the stairwell to the waiting air boats twenty-five feet away; then they assist the adults, arm in arm, to walk the same distance to the air boats where their children are now waiting for them.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 2:19 PM (Facebook post by Daniel)

It is decided, new call sign: Ark Five Two

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 2:31 PM (Facebook post by Daniel)

Ark Five Two re-tasked to Lakes of Eldridge due to dam release. Area became badly flooded last few hours.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 3:34 PM (Facebook post by Daniel)

Ark Five Two exfiling flooded out residents in Lakes of Eldridge.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 6:06 PM (Facebook post by Daniel)

The sun has come out. Haven’t seen since Saturday, very weird.

To be continued…

Lone Star Chronicles – Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Fish

To read Part 1, click here http://lonestarchronicles.com/dispatches-from-houston/

To read Part 3,click here: http://lonestarchronicles.com/dispatches-from-houston-part-3/

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  1 comment for “Dispatches from Houston – Chapter 2. Ark Five Two

  1. Rene
    September 4, 2017 at 12:52 PM

    When is part 3 coming out? I can’t wait to hear the rest of this incredible story. The guys are real heros and I think somehow this needs to get out to the main street media so everyone can hear why it was like. Thank you for writing their story and can’t wait to read more

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