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Godwin High grad helps in Harvey rescues: ‘It’s just heartbreaking’

HOUSTON, Texas -- A Godwin High School graduate is among a growing fleet of regular people taking boats out on flooded Texas streets to help rescue stranded Texans.  Louie Carr, who currently works for a graphic designs company in Austin, Texas, said he and friend were watching what was happening in Houston and felt compelled to act.

Carr said Monday, his friend bought a boat at a local shop, and they began the three-hour drive toward the worst part of the flood damage done by Storm Harvey.

"He spent a lot of money and bought a boat. We hooked it up to the trailer and hit the road that night," Carr said in a phone interview with CBS 6.

Louie Carr

Louie Carr

Their crew has spent the last two days working with first responders and online dispatchers to help rescue families still trapped by flooding.  Carr estimated that Tuesday alone they brought six or seven boat loads of people to safety.

"Just seeing the looks on people's faces. It's just heartbreaking. These people just lost their homes, they lost everything," he said.

Despite the devastation, Carr has been inspired by the rescue efforts.  Social media groups are mobilizing an online effort to help boat crews on the ground pinpoint exactly where they should head to rescue stranded Texans.

"There are these heroes out here who are at home at their computers updating these maps for us, dropping pins down, contacting people that need rescue," Carr said.  "We saw a rescue group from San Diego that drove 36 hours straight to get here. Florida, Oklahoma, everywhere you can think of, there are people doing whatever they can."

From what he has seen so far, Carr said the best way for Virginians to help from afar is to donate supplies and basic items to reputable relief groups.  He even suggests sending words of encouragement to people in Texas who have lost everything.

"These are just regular people, these could be your neighbors, these could be your family," Carr said.

How to donate to Hurricane Harvey relief