Hurricane Harvey

Volunteers Are Helping With Water Rescue Efforts

“It’s emotional when you rescue a baby, or you see that senior citizen who can’t walk and we’re having to carry them through the water.”

Rescue efforts have been underway for nearly a week now. Emergency responders have been working tirelessly around the clock, and volunteers are pitching in to rescue victims of Tropical Storm Harvey.

Bellville resident Bruce Margolis says he has organized a volunteer rescue team—made of 7 boats and about 14 volunteers, so far.

News 88.7 caught up with him, before he headed over to Memorial and Kirkwood, on the Westside. Margolis says some on his team are retired emergency responders, and they’re also using boats from other cities and states.

"We’ve got Florida here, we’ve got Fort Worth, we’ve got Dallas, we’ve got local ones. We’ve got Michigan on the way. We’ve got more [from] Florida on the way, too,” he said.

While resources are coming in from other cities, Margolis says being a local resident is also an advantage to rescue efforts.

“We know the area better than a lot of the folks coming in from out of state, or around the state,” he said. “We try to get to the places they're not.”

Margolis has been posting some of his team's rescue efforts on social media.

Margolis says emotions run high, for both the evacuees and the rescue team.

"It's emotional, when you rescue a baby," he said. "Or you see that senior citizen who can't walk and we're having to carry them through the water."

He says they ask for them to take only the very bare essentials.

“There's a lot of nervousness. They have got all the anxiety and all the emotions of leaving everything behind,” says Margolis. “They literally have the clothes on their back. Some of them have a bag, some of them have a couple suitcases, and lot of them have just what they're wearing.”

He says some people in rescue areas have refused to go with them, and they've lost count of how many people they have rescued.

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