Texas volunteers spending days rescuing stranded residents

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — 1,500 miles from home, a group of men hauled their boats to Wilmington to help rescue people from the floods.

With loaded trucks and air boats, four men from Texas and Georgia jumped into action.

Anxious to go again, after four long days of boating in unknown neighborhoods that are now lakes, searching for people stranded in their flooded homes.

“A lot of times with the water rising as quickly as it does, you’re putting people on. I had 15 people on this boat yesterday,” said volunteer Ray Hodge.

Sleeping in their trucks, or if they’re lucky, finding strangers who will give them a roof for the night before they’re off once more.

This team arrived from Texas late Tuesday night. By Friday, they were in Rocky Point. The first person they saved, a 70 year old woman and her family, waiting on the roof of their mobile home.

Rescuer Jeremiah Hayes asked her, why stay?

“She said, ‘I’ve lived here my whole life, my daddy’s live here his whole life’ and she’s like, ‘the water’s never come past the stop sign’ and the stop sign was like 500 yards away,” Hayes said.

She was just one of 120 they rescued.

“As I pulled her down, she literally, she just wrapped her arms around me, she just started kissing my cheek and telling my how thankful she was,” Hodge added.

His team also went to neighborhoods in Wilmington and Leland.
They’re prepared to stay here until the rivers crest, going where they’re needed.

“It’s just what we do,” said Hodge. “We just come here to help people, that’s the only reason.”

This Texas team is working with search and rescue teams from Indiana, as well as local law enforcement.

Categories: Brunswick, Local, New Hanover, Pender

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