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How One Man (and His Boat and Dump Truck) Has Helped Dozens Escape Hurricane Harvey Floodwaters

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Hurricane Harvey made landfall near the greater Houston area on Aug. 25, dropping a record-breaking 27 trillion gallons of water in just days, damaging an ­estimated 46,000 homes and leaving at least 60 dead.

Three days later, as the floodwaters were rising rapidly, Trey Hamblet of Katy, Texas, got a call from a neighbor who needed to evacuate.

“I have access to a large flatbed dump truck, so I went and got them,” says the industrial-projects researcher, 46.

David Butow/Redux for People

But he didn’t stop there.

  • For more stories of neighbors helping neigbors recover after Hurricane Harvey, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE — on newsstands Friday

Using his boat, Hamblet has helped dozens of neighbors escape the floodwaters and is now ferrying them in and out as they salvage what’s left of their possessions.

“You see someone’s entire life out on the yard and you just can’t not help them. And I’m not the only one,” says Hamblet. “I’ve seen hundreds upon hundreds of people carrying hammers and trash cans and trash bags and everyone is bringing their shovels and rakes out of their garages and helping people. It’s been so inspiring to see everyone coming together and doing what they can to help.”