Home after Harvey, East Texans survey damage to personal boats

Home after Harvey, East Texans survey damage to personal boats
The front porch of one local's home became his boat deck. The crew says they saw him fishing off the front porch later in the day. (Source: Ryan Alexander)
The front porch of one local's home became his boat deck. The crew says they saw him fishing off the front porch later in the day. (Source: Ryan Alexander)
The crew rescued people who were stranded in their homes in the sustained flooding after Hurricane Harvey. (Source: Ryan Alexander)
The crew rescued people who were stranded in their homes in the sustained flooding after Hurricane Harvey. (Source: Ryan Alexander)
A helicopter hovers over crew members as they move through the flooded streets. (Source: Ryan Alexander)
A helicopter hovers over crew members as they move through the flooded streets. (Source: Ryan Alexander)
The crew gathers in prayer before launching on a rescue mission. (Source: Ryan Alexander)
The crew gathers in prayer before launching on a rescue mission. (Source: Ryan Alexander)

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - Many East Texans volunteered their gear and time after Hurricane Harvey made two landfalls along the gulf coast. Now many them are bringing back gear and vehicles in need of repair.

"About every other boat you saw coming out of the water was missing a prop," volunteer Ryan Alexander said.

He and a crew from the East Texas Outlaws Jeep club spent days moving along US-90 between Houston and Beaumont. They stopped in several towns  - including Liberty, Nome and through to Vidor - on a volunteer expedition to help evacuate Harvey victims from their homes.

"You would drop your boat in off the side of the main highway," volunteer Anthony Mayes said.

In total, the crew says about 20 club members helped out. There were ten people running rescues, and ten others who resupplied the crew and brought donations. In total, they say they had ten boats in the convoy.

Focusing on rural homes, the crew says they worked with local fire and police entities along with many other volunteer groups. They rescued pets and live stock, and people too.

"You didn't know what it was going to look like in the next mile," volunteer John McPeek said.

The trip also meant their personal boats and vehicles would sustain damage. Alexander says his prop is busted and the lower end of his motor is out of commission.

"My son wanted to go fishing this weekend," he said. "But we have to wait until I can get this fixed."

McPeek says the shift linkage on his transfer case snapped, and he's now encountering electrical issues with the vehicle.

Churches along the route hosted the group, and they wish to give special thank to the First Baptist Church in Liberty.

Overall, they called it a worthwhile experience despite the damage.

"It was an amazing thing," McPeek said.

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