Tuesday 21 January 2020

Watch the nail-biting moment a Houston reporter flagged rescuers towards a flooding truck

During a broadcast, KHOU reporting team Brandi Smith and Mario Sandoval spotted a large lorry stuck in floodwater, with the driver trapped inside as the water rose.

By Isabel Togoh

Parts of Texas are experiencing major floods in the wake of Hurricane Harvey which hit the state’s south-east coast on Friday.

As the chaos unfolds and news outlets struggle to cover the disaster, one Houston reporter made the news – during her broadcast.

Brandi Smith, a journalist for KHOU 11 News Houston, was doing a piece to camera amid the heavy rain and wind, when she averted the lens to a lorry stuck in the road below.

The lone truck was sitting in the middle of a deep flood, with the waters slowly rising to meet the driver who was trapped inside.

As the broadcast went on, Smith spotted a water rescue team and flagged it down. The journalist ran to alert the rescuers, who were unaware of the truck below.

“Hold on, just a sec,” she said mid-broadcast, before running towards the rescuers, from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

“There’s a truck driver stuck here in about 10 feet of water,” she told the officers, who were equipped with a rescue boat.

Thanks to her, the rescuers made their way down to the driver in danger.

Many on Twitter praised Smith’s concern and quick-thinking.

In a statement on Twitter, Smith assured followers that the driver was now safe.

“Thank you to everyone who has reached out. We are safe and so is Robert, the driver who was rescued.

“Second, all the credit for that rescue goes to photographer Mario Sandoval, who spotted the truck, and HCSO crews who rescued the driver. Amazing work, you guys!”

Smith posted the full broadcast on her Facebook page, in which the emergency crew are seen rescuing the driver.

As many of you know, KHOU 11 News was evacuated due to flooding. That meant my photographer Mario and I were the only ones left on air for … well … I don't even know how long. The #KHOU11 signal cut out just as Harris County Sheriff's Office crews got their rescue boat in the water to pull a semi driver out of his flooded cab. I've had SO many people asking if he made it out OK and I wanted to share the video. (We kept going and rolling until the camera's battery died, not knowing we'd been knocked off the air.) They pull him out around the 4:40 mark. THANK GOD for that crew.

Posted by Brandi Smith KHOU on Sunday, August 27, 2017

Staff at the KHOU television network were also evacuated from their building as water from a nearby stream started gushing through closed doors on Sunday morning.

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