HOUSTON, Texas — A South Houston farmer is credited with saving more than 200 flood victims in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The farmer used his John Deere tractor to move flood victims to safety.
“We don’t have a boat. We don’t have ATV’s. We have tractors here,” Willie Rios told KHOU reporter Melissa Correa. The City of “South Houston is 3.2 square miles.” About 21,000 people live here, Correa wrote. “Oh! We know everybody here. We love everybody here. We’re all family.”
Rios’ tractor has four-foot tall tires and a front end loader capable of driving through the high water and rescuing people trapped by the fast moving flood. He told the reporter he began hauling people out four at a time, but then things escalated.
“After that, the calls were coming in and coming in to our cellphones. ‘You know, I’ve got three babies in the house,” Rios explained. “The water’s coming in. All of our cars have took in water. We’re by the bayou. You need to come save us.’ Not can you come, you need to come.”
Areas near the Houston suburban neighbor received rainfall totals between 30 and 50 inches as then-Tropical Storm Harvey waltzed across Texas for nearly a week.
By the time it was all said and done, Rios and his tractor rescued more than 200 people, the Houston CBS affiliate reported. He transported the flood victims to a nearby shelter.
Rios is one of the thousands of volunteers who did whatever it took to save their neighbors. He is a shining example of the #HoustonStrong moniker being used on social media since the storm moved on.