A drone photographer’s photos of Hurricane Matthew’s destruction helped save the life of a man who became trapped in his home in the flood waters.
Chris Williams lives in the town of Hope Mills, North Carolina, and had been keeping in contact with his brother Craig, who lives in Texas, on Saturday as the storm moved through the state.
With the worst of the storm passed, he called his brother Saturday evening and said there didn’t appear to be too much damage and that he was going to bed.
A Texas man saw this picture of his brother’s flooded home (right) on Twitter on Sunday, and asked the photographer who took the photo to get his brother help, since neither could get through to 911
Chris Williams, the man who was saved from the house, speaks to reporters on Sunday after his rescue
Craig reached out to drone photographer Quava Hart after seeing a picture the photographer took of his brother’s submerged home on Twitter
But in the middle of the night he woke up to a sound like someone breaking into the house, and found his home quickly filling with water.
At this point, Chris had lost cell service but he was somehow able to contact his brother via Facebook messenger.
For fourteen hours, both brothers struggled to call 911 to help rescue Chris from his home where he was hiding out on the second floor with his dog Lana, who can’t swim.
Quavas Hart (right) flagged down a FEMA crew after speaking to Craig Williams (left) about his trapped brother
The next morning, Craig was scrolling through Twitter looking for photos of Hope Mills, and sent his brother a picture of a neighborhood almost completely submerged in water.
Craig says he hoped the picture would cheer his brother up, saying at least his home wasn’t this bad. But Chris pointed out that his home was indeed included in the far right of the image.
That’s when Craig had an idea. He reached out to the drone photographer on Twitter, and asked if he might be able to help.
Photographer Quavas Hart immediately agreed, flagging down a FEMA crew who used a boat to rescue Chris.
A Go Fund Me Account has been started to help raise money for Chris’ house, which was badly wrecked in the flood
Above, a view of some of the flood’s destruction to Chris’ home in Hope Mills, North Carolina
North Carolina was the worst hit state in Hurricane Matthew, with some nine people dying in the storm
In the aftermath of the flood, Chris’ house seems to be almost a complete loss, but Craig says he’s just glad his brother got out alive
‘I see this FEMA boat, distract them with a drone, and get them over,’ Hart told the Washington Post. ‘I told them, “There’s a guy in this house. Follow the drone.”‘
In the aftermath of the flood, Chris’ house seems to be almost a complete loss, but Craig says he’s just glad his brother got out alive.
A GoFundMe page has been started to help raise money for repairs or a new home, since Chris does not have flood insurance.