CBS affiliate KHOU-TV reporter Brandi Smith and photographer Mario Sandoval were in the field covering the flooding — for a time, they were the entirety of KHOU's coverage, as the station's studio had to be evacuated. They were standing on a bridge on the Sam Houston Tollway when they noticed a semi truck, surrounded by floodwaters on the Hardy Toll Road below. The truck driver was trapped inside. And the water was seriously deep — rising to the windows of the cab. In other words, 8 to 10 feet of water.
Smith urged the driver, Robert, to remain in the cab and not attempt to swim. He agreed to stay put.
And here's where luck played a part. A crew of Harris County sheriff's deputies drove by — towing an airboat — and Smith flagged them down and alerted them to the man trapped below.
The deputies told Robert they were coming to get him. Separately, they told Smith that a truck driver had drowned in the same spot in 2016.
They go to Robert in time. "I just thank God that you guys were right here to get me and put me back on land safely," he told Smith and the deputies. "I appreciate you."
Check out the video above. And keep the folks in the flood zone in your thoughts today and in the days to come.