A picture that shows the dedication of firefighters in Texas has emerged amidst the devastation of the flash floods that swept across the state Thursday.
The Austin Fire Department posted a photo on its Facebook page of firefighters Matt Harvey and Michael Cooper pulling a dog out of the flood waters and to safety Thursday morning.
The photo was taken by department photographer Preston Colber who went along with the crews as they traveled door to door in the city’s Pleasant Valley Road area to rescue residents from their flooded homes.
Harvey and Cooper, who were on their day off after working a 24-hour shift and not available for comment, spotted the dog stranded in about 12 feet of water from the nearby Onion Creek.
“The dog wasn’t with a family,” Battalion Chief Thayer Smith told ABCNews.com today. “It was out swimming in the water and as the crews were rescuing people they rescued that dog.”
The dog, as all other animals rescued yesterday, was taken in by the local humane society, which set up temporary operations at flooding locations, according to Smith. Unclaimed pets are then taken to the local animal shelter where they can be tracked and picked up by their owners.
“Austin is a very dog-friendly city,” Smith said. “We know that pets are important to our community so, in turn, they’re important to us.”
“Dealing with pets is nothing new for us,” he said. “It’s just something we do.”
The flood waters the dog found himself caught up in also inundated entire neighborhoods in Austin, forcing homeowners to go to their roofs and drivers to cling to trees before being rescued. More than 100 people had to be rescued from their homes, according to officials.
The flash floods receded as quickly as they came, giving homeowners plenty of time to look at what they had lost.
“There’s nothing left,” said Micki Ramirez, whose home of 10 years was caught in the floods. “I don’t want to go in until someone comes and takes it away. Just take it all away.”
“This couch was actually against that wall facing that way,” said her son, Dion Ramirez, pointing to where the family’s furniture used to stand. “So apparently the water came up so high, picked the couch up [and] spun it up around and made it land like this.”