Technology and mankind help rescue a Hurricane Matthew survivor

Technology, social media and humankind rescue a Hurricane Matthew survivor.

Craig Williams from Austin was worried sick about his brother Chris after Hurricane Matthew flooded his hometown in North Carolina.  

After making hundreds of phone calls to first responders with no luck, Craig wasn't sure what to do so he took to social media.

A concerned brother, knowing his twin is trapped on the second floor of his home surrounded by flood waters...

“He told me he had called 911 over 20 times and basically had been disconnected every time,” Williams said. “It was just answer, disconnect.”

Craig desperately searched Twitter for ways to help and found a photo of Chris' neighborhood.

The picture had been taken by a drone operator working under the twitter handle @imsofirst.
As it turns out the home in the photo was Chris' house.

“I didn't even know it was Chris' house. He thought I was screwing around with him, but he's like dude are you kidding that's my house,” Williams said. “I had no idea. No distinguishing features and then I'm like woah he's not kidding that's literally where he lives.”

Craig quickly tweeted at the drone user saying that's my brother's house, the one with the shutter. Any chance you can boat him out of there? He's trapped upstairs.

The drone user responded "Are you serious?"

Craig tweeted back “Completely serious, he has an old dog with him that can't swim. Cumberland County says rescue is not possible yet.”

“I must have placed 60-100 calls finding someone that would work and there just wasn't any,” Williams said.

Craig says the user used his drone to fly over his brother's house.

“He could kind of get close enough and then fly his drone over to look for stuff,” Williams said. “I'm talking to my brother telling him this crazy story and my brother is like how is a drone going to bring a boat and I'm like don't worry about it the guy says he's got it covered.”

That's when the drone user noticed a FEMA boat and used the drone to get their attention.

“Flies it over to my brother's window and gestures the FEMA boat,” Williams said. “That's when you see my brother reaching out the window with the towel.”

A reminder, not just of the power of social media and technology, but of the power of humankind.

“This is one of those weird situations where strangers came together to help each other,” Williams said. “And risk themselves.”

Thankfully Craig's brother and his dog are safe tonight, but Craig says Chris is looking at thousands of dollars in damages to his home.

Click here to help Chris out. 

(© 2016 KYTX)


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