Wichita Falls man takes boat to Houston to help flood victims – KAUZ


It has been more than a week since the city of Houston was hit with devastating flooding due to Hurricane Harvey.

In that time, we’ve seen businesses across Texoma offer help to those victims.

One Wichita Falls man got to see first hand, the help that is needed.

With a metal boat strapped to the top of his suburban, Michael Fiore spent his week saving lives.

“Even though it’s only a 14 foot Jon boat, we’re able to help get four or five people a time in there with some of their belongings as well,” said Fiore.

Last Monday, he headed for Houston.

After meeting up with a friend and his brother the three spent three days in some of the hardest hit areas.

What he saw, was devastating.

“We were driving through flooded highways for miles on end where there was anywhere from 2 feet of water covering the highway and you never got out of it,” said Fiore.  “To see that the entire part of southeast Texas was covered in two to three feet of water.  There was places where there were no pieces of dry land for miles and miles.  So many people have lost their homes.  It’s just horrible.”

It’s because of this tragic event that has a lot of people and businesses asking what they can do to help.

Which is why at Smith’s Gardentown, they are sending 20 percent of all of the sales they make this Labor Day weekend to the Salvation Army.

Steve Smith, co-owner of Smith’s Gardentown said he wanted to help out because he remembers what is like to have to rebuild, after having their business destroyed in the tornado of 1979.

“We’ve been looking for something we could do to help out the native Texans and our neighbors,” said Smith.  “It just seems like the right time to be able to do that.”

Fiore said the most encouraging thing he saw amongst all the tragedy is how many people came to help.

He saw close to a thousand boats of people just like him.

“It was really amazing and encouraging to see just regular people you know leave their homes and leave their families, leave their work, and risk their own lives,” said Fiore.  “First responders had us write our social security numbers on our arms in case they had to find our body.  To see these people make these sacrifices and spending their own money to get down there just because there was people in need that was extremely encouraging.”

If you couldn’t make it out to Smith’s Gardentown Sunday to help with the cause, the business is continuing their sale Labor Day from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

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