EXHAUSTED and drenched in filthy floodwater, weary emergency workers and volunteers scrambled to save the latest wave of Tropical Storm Harvey’s victims amid word that a veteran Houston police sergeant drowned on his way to work.
Sgt. Steve Perez’s body was recovered early Tuesday.
Perez, 60, left for work in the dark about 4 a.m. Sunday and “spent about 2½ hours driving around trying to get to his duty station,” police Chief Art Acevedo said. The 34-year police veteran drove on an underpass.
On Monday, officials narrowed the location to one area. The Cajun Navy, a Louisiana-based rescue force that gained fame in Hurricane Katrina, helped look for Perez, Acevedo said, tearing up.
“Once our dive team got there, it was too treacherous to go under and look for him, Acevedo said. “So, we made a decision to leave officers there waiting until the morning, because as much as we wanted to recover him last night, we could not put more officers at risk.”
“For we knew in our hearts it was going to be a recovery mission,” Acevedo said.
A sea of volunteers and rescue workers used fishing boats and big SUVs to save Harvey’s victims. One volunteer even used a dump truck to save anyone he could.
Three days after Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas, the stubborn, slow-moving storm wreaked more havoc when it caused Houston’s Addicks Reservoir to overflow and breached a levee in nearby Brazoria County.