There's a lot of bad news coming out of Houston, but one local news team's quick thinking helped save the life of a stranded truck driver as the waters rose.

While covering Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, KHOU reporter Brandi Smith and photographer Mario Sandoval spotted a man trapped inside the cab of his semi truck below a north Houston overpass. With flood waters rising, it looked like just a matter of time before the driver would be trapped, forced underwater, and possibly killed.

Smith yelled out to the driver, but there didn't seem to be much she or Sandoval could do from their position on the overpass.

The situation looked grim.

[rebelmouse-image 19530897 dam="1" original_size="750x390" caption="Brandi Smith reporting from the scene, where she witnessed this truck in trouble. Images via KHOU 11/YouTube." expand=1]Brandi Smith reporting from the scene, where she witnessed this truck in trouble. Images via KHOU 11/YouTube.

Suddenly, they spotted a Harris County Sheriff's Office truck, towing a rescue boat, driving in their direction.

Smith waved down the passing truck, pointing them in the direction of the stranded driver. While the broadcast cut before the man was rescued — because the KHOU studio had flooded and was being evacuated — Smith later confirmed via Twitter that the rescue operation was a success and posted a follow-up clip:

As many of you know, KHOU 11 News was evacuated due to flooding. That meant my photographer Mario and I were the only ones left on air for ... well ... I don't even know how long. The #KHOU11 signal cut out just as Harris County Sheriff's Office crews got their rescue boat in the water to pull a semi driver out of his flooded cab. I've had SO many people asking if he made it out OK and I wanted to share the video. (We kept going and rolling until the camera's battery died, not knowing we'd been knocked off the air.) They pull him out around the 4:40 mark. THANK GOD for that crew.

Posted by

Brandi Smith KHOU on Sunday, August 27, 2017

"First, thank you to everyone who has reached out," Smith tweeted. "We are safe and so is Robert, the driver who was rescued."

"Second, all the credit for that rescue goes to photographer Mario Sandoval, who spotted the truck, and HCSO crews who rescued the driver. Amazing work, you guys."

Smith flags down a passing truck, bringing the situation to the attention of local law enforcement.

It's easy to lose hope in the midst of unparalleled destruction. But let's not forget the everyday heroes among us.

This act by Smith, Sandoval, and the Harris County Sheriff's Office is just one of dozens or even hundreds of examples of everyday heroism that will come to public attention in the days and weeks following the storm.

For those of us who aren't on the ground in Texas, there's still a lot we can do to help. The Houston Chronicle put together a list of organizations that need donations for victims and evacuees.

You can watch the powerful and harrowing beginning of the rescue below.


Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.

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Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

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