HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Two pictures sat beside Mayor Sylvester Turner as he read their names and stories. Both men died trying to get to work during Hurricane Harvey. Sgt. Steve Perez worked with the Houston Police Department for 34 years and Joseph Dowell was a second chance employee who had recently got a job with the Public Works Department.
“You know it’s a guy that could have very easily stayed home that morning, Steve Perez, with his wife who is begging him not to go, but when you have a heart of a servant and you have service in your DNA, he died doing what he loved to do and that was serving others,” says Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo.
“So Joseph Dowell was a Houston Public Works employee who was trying to report to work during Hurricane Harvey and called in and said he was running into some problems and continued to push himself further into floodwaters until his car stalled out and he got out and he decided to walk and never made it into his site,” says Carol Haddock, the director of Houston Public Works.
Mayor Turner honored the men, along with many Houston City Council members and city employees. He also talked about several things the city should think about moving forward.
"The federal dollars have not yet come and it’s to help individuals that need the help,” says Mayor Turner.
The 1.14 billion federal dollars are expected to arrive by November. Until then, Mayor Turner says it will be up to the voters to decide on additional funding.
"All of us can play a role in building a stronger, more resilient region and by voting on the county's bond proposal of $2.5 billion for 237 projects to build a stronger more resilient region,” adds Mayor Turner. Saturday is the last day to vote on the issue and that day, Mayor Turner will also be out touring neighborhoods still affected by the storm.