HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Boats are Kenny Bleakney's life and livelihood. For some Hurricane Harvey survivors, his boat served as their lifeline. As the heavy rain was falling, he rose to the occasion.
"We launched the boat of the side of the freeway there," said Bleakney. "Literally drove it under 517."
Bleakney spent day after day plucking people from flooded homes. He estimates helping 75 people in all, including one guy with eight cats and several National Guardsmen.
"I had one guy ask me, 'What are you going to charge me for this?' I said, 'We're not here for the money." Or the glory either.
Bleakney, like so many other boat owners, was there simply because it was the right thing to do. Now they have some glory.
Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Houston Mayor Sylvester Tuner formally honored Bleakney and seventeen other people for stepping up to do what the city and county could not.
"I will tell you the character of Houston and the region, people just stepped up just like these heroes," said Mayor Turner. He also said it was more than just these 18, of course, and Commissioner Ellis said the county has purchased more rescue boats.
"We're going to be more prepared this season," added Ellis. "I don't know if we can solve the flood problem, but we can certainly mitigate it."
Either way, the Texas and Cajun Navies will be ready too, eager to help and eager to share the glory.
"Guys, there were many, many other people out there, we weren't the only ones." said Bleakney.