News & Opinion | September 1, 2017 10:00 am

Harrowing Stories From Hurricane Harvey Survivors Emerge

The death toll has reached at least 44.

Hurricane Harvey
People walk down a flooded street as they evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 28, 2017 in Houston (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Harrowing stories about Hurricane Harvey’s victims, who range from 6 years old to 89, are coming to light. The Associated Press writes that some people lost their lives trying to save others, while others died doing their best to survive the “catastrophic disaster.”

Harvey, once a Category 4 hurricane, wrecked havoc and devastation across Texas. The death toll is currently at 44, and the Texas department of public safety has said that 48,700 home sustained flood damage, including 17,000 with major damage and 1,000 that were destroyed, according to The GuardianIt was the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in half a century.

One man, Andrew Pasek, used his last words to save his friend’s life. Twenty-five-year-old Andrew Pasek was walking through ankle-deep water on Tuesday to check on his sister’s beloved cat, the AP writes, when he stepped on a live electrical water. Pasek then fell over, and his friend moved to help, but Pasek told him no.

“He said, ‘Don’t touch me. I’m dying,’” his mother, JoDell Pasek, told the AP. 

Pasek had always recused animals that needed a home, and even once saved his father’s life when he choked on food and couldn’t breathe.

Other victims died in cars, trying to find refuge or trying to help friends, families, or strangers.

Houston police Sgt. Albert Steve Perez died while heading to work around 4 a.m. on Sunday, reports the AP. At 60-years-old, he was the father of two. His wife urged him to stay home, but he told her, “I’ve got work to do.”

Ruben Jordan, a 58-year-old football and track coach at Clear Creek High School, also died while driving, though his family is unsure what exactly happened to him. His brother, Oscar Drew Jordan, said that Ruben had a “bigger heart than anyone I know,” according to the AP. 

Under clear skies on Wednesday, Donald Rogers, 65, and his wife Rochelle, 58, decided to check on Donald’s uncle, writes the AP. They were driving over a bridge in a pickup when the swift current flipped the car. Rochelle was able to call 911, but the couple was found dead in the truck upon the rescuer’s arrival.

Others victims include two men, 45-year-old Yahir Rubio-Vizuet and 33-year-old Jorge Perez died while on a mission with family and friends to save people from the floodwaters, the AP reports. They were in a boating accident. Two other men in their group remain missing.