After Tropical Storm Harvey unleashed torrential rain on League City, Chase Unbehagen decided to take matters into his own hands.
“It happened in a blink of an eye,” the League City native said. “The second I saw the outcome, I called my little cousin to meet me so we could help our community.”
A series of vessels were used to patrol the flooded areas, Unbehagen said.
“The first day we used a rescue raft they had at a drop point and waded through the neighborhoods,” he said. “One of the days we used our kayaks, and the other days we went to the launch sites and asked every single person that put their boat in the water if they had room until we got on a boat and got out there.”
Throughout the day, Unbehagen went with other volunteers through flooded areas in the city, looking for any residents in need of aid.
“We left around 8:30 a.m. and stayed out until past dark doing everything we could,” he said. “That goes for everyone that was out there. No one left, we all stood together and pushed through for one another.”
Helping rescue about 50 people and a few animals, the mood was surprisingly pleasant, Unbehagen said.
“The people were sad of course from losing everything, but we all still managed to joke and laugh along the way to keep a positive mindset,” he said. “That’s all you can do in times like this, smile, laugh, love and stay positive.”
The amount of people who helped the community was astonishing, Unbehagen said.
“To everyone that volunteered and rushed to get out on the water to help, thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “Help a stranger and hug a stranger.”
People demonstrating acts of kindness define Texas, Unbehagen said.
“I have never been more proud to be a Texan and most importantly an American,” he said. “The true heroes are our first responders and military men and women that worked 20-hour shifts and didn’t get to go home and hug their loved ones after a long and emotional day.”
People like Unbehagen prove that the community is more than willing to band together in times of tragedy, League City resident Violet Bernal said.
“I just want to say thank you to him and his family and to everyone who didn’t have to help but did,” she said. “It’s amazing to know we have people in our community who are willing to risk themselves to protect others, even if they’re mere strangers. The amount of love and support that we have seen has been overwhelming.”
Coming together and helping others is the Texan spirit, Unbehagen said.
“That’s what us Southerners do, we drop what we are doing and help people in need,” he said. “We don’t expect a thank you, a hug or anything at all. I’m just a normal guy trying to do the right thing.”