Civilians rescue police after boat overturns
HOUSTON, Texas (FOX 26) - Civilian rescue crews have taken to the flooded streets of Houston to help their neighbors escape some of the worst floodings the area has ever seen.
In spite of already unbelievable conditions, A Houston man and Army veteran helping with that effort could never have prepared for the rescue he made when a pontoon boat full of police officers tipped over in rushing floodwaters.
Josh Hohenstein was on a boat with others, taking video of the flooding in a neighborhood near where West Lake Houston Parkway crosses Lake Houston.
As he recorded, a pontoon boat carrying about six police officers became tangled in a tree and overturned.
In a Facebook post, Hohenstein said the water was rushing at about 15 miles per hour. He and his crew rushed to aid the officers.
Hohenstein says he pulled a female officer from the water just before she was overtaken.
"I [grabbed] her before she went under our boat and engines. I barely caught her by one arm and used everything I had to get her on board," Hohenstein recalled.
His video shows the officers going into the water in an area where rescue seems difficult, at best. On one side, a large tree and a fence stopped the boat. On the other side, a pole prevented the boat from being able to correct its course.
And all around, rushing water was pushing the boat forward, despite obstacles in every direction.
The boat stops and tips in a matter of seconds, throwing the officers into the water as the boat comes down over them.
But thanks to the efforts of Hohenstein and his crew, the officers were rescued, and then went back to rescuing others.
Hohenstein wrote of the officer he pulled from the water, "Ten minutes later she's back out on the rescue effort with her team who were all rescued before currents propelled them into open flood waters on Lake Houston."
He finished with words of encouragement and hope for all who have risked their lives to help save others.
"Where we go one, we go all. Fights not over, keep going! The world doesn't judge a man on what he does for himself, but rather what he does for others."