Former congressman shares story of his rescue from Houston floods

Former congressman shares story of his rescue from Houston floods

One of the hardest-hit sections of Houston has been Meyerland, southwest of downtown. That's where one prominent Houston resident found out Mother Nature plays no favorites.

Former Highland Park graduate, now Houston resident, Chris Bell is best known as a former U.S. Congressman, Houston city council member and one-time candidate for governor.

Today, Bell, his wife, Allison, and two sons have only one label: Flood victim refugees. Bell and his family live in Meyerland, near Brays Bayou in southwest Houston.

High water has seeped into their home before, but not like this.

"I'm 6-foot-3 and the water was almost up to my neck when we were walking outside," Bell said.

Sunday morning, he and his family watched in horror as floodwaters invaded their home, forcing them to the second floor. Then they looked across the street and saw their neighbor's house nearly submerged. Many others were having to be rescued.

"All day we had already seen people airlifted off the roofs of their home," he said.

By midday, it was time. Bell called Houston firefighters, who arrived with a rescue boat. He, his family and three dogs were loaded onto the boat and escorted to dry ground. They were later loaded in a city dump truck, and in a driving rain driven a few miles and unloaded on a freeway.

"They told all of us we are going to need to get off and unload the kennels and wait by the side of the road on the freeway," said Bell.

"It was raining and really, really cold. At the time we had no idea where we were going, my boys were scared, I was scared, Allison was scared just because the uncertainty of the situation”

Bell said they started walking and out of nowhere, a good Samaritan, a young oil and gas industry executive, Brendon Bailey pulled up in his Jeep.

Turns out he had spent his day giving stranded flood victims rides.

He delivered the Bells and their dogs to the safety of a friend's home a few miles away.

"I've never had an experience like that and it really was incredible," said Bell. "You learn during a situation like that just how amazing the kindness of others really is."

Bell said he has since learned that Bailey was out in his Jeep again Monday, giving strangers rides, kindness and a sense of security.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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