Residents of one Houston neighborhood took it upon themselves to perform water rescues as flooding submerged the area on Monday, April 18.
Greenspoint, in northern Houston, was one of the hardest-hit areas after nearly a foot of rain fell in less than 24 hours. Water levels rose as high as the top of cars, turning parking lots into lakes.
Though officials encouraged residents to wait for rescue officials, some thought the situation was dire enough to warrant an immediate, neighborly response.
People used mattresses, empty refrigerators, empty bins and anything else they could find to move people, especially children, out of the floodwaters.
A shelter was opened at Greenspoint Mall for those who had to flee their residence. Still, some questioned if the government's response was adequate.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner addressed questions of equal assistance at a press conference on Monday evening before touring the area with other officials.
"No one has been ignored. This has been a dynamic situation across the city," Turner said. "No area has been ignored. No area has been treated treated unduly, unfairly..."
"For anyone to suggest that a community isn't being attended to or we are not placing the proper resources there, that would be a serious misstatement."
Turner said the city's command center was set up in Greenspoint around 4 a.m. on Monday. Rescue efforts began for those in the worst danger, including moving some residents of first floor apartments to the second floor. Others were moved to shelters.
Ten MetroHouston buses were used to transport displaced Greenspoint residents from the mall to M.O. Campbell Center, an indoor arena where food, clothing and other necessities were distributed.
Many took to social media to highlight the community efforts in Greenspoint as neighbors helped those they felt were in immediate danger.
#greenspoint is an example of neighborly love for all of us. These people pulled together to help one other since the city failed to do so.— Ari Carri (@carri_ari) April 18, 2016
#Greenspoint isn't a concern for Houston I see...— Dj-Tru Blu (@Dj_TruBlu) April 18, 2016
Many prayers go out to the people in the #Greenspoint Houston area. Amazing to see the heroism of ordinary citizens coming to their rescue.— Simplecynts (@simplecynts) April 18, 2016