2 rescued in Texas flood after emailing New Jersey responder

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FLEMINGTON -

Authorities say an email sent to a New Jersey first aid squad member led to the rescue of two people trapped in the attic of a Texas home by rising floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey.

Officials say that a Kingwood Rescue Squad member received the email Tuesday from someone they didn't know in Kingwood, Texas. The email included a name, an address, a cell number and details on their plight.

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“To get a call from 1,300 miles away, it was definitely a fluke,” says James Curry, the head of the Hunterdon County Emergency Service Communication Division.

Curry says the email address that the plea was sent to belonged to a retired officer in New Jersey.

“Because they were in Kingwood, [Texas], they Googled Kingwood rescue and wound up coming up with Kingwood Rescue Squad here in New Jersey,” Curry says.

The officer contacted emergency officials in Hunterdon County, who worked with members of the sheriff's office in Harris County, Texas, to coordinate the rescue effort. The two people were rescued a few hours later.

According to public Facebook posts by family members, the couple was rescued by a volunteer in a canoe.

Curry says that the couple emailed the New Jersey squad to let them know that they were rescued.

The officer and the dispatchers did not wish to be interviewed by News 12 New Jersey. Their supervisors say that this is a testament to the work they do every day.

"The reason you don't see their Facebook post, the reason you’re not going to see them on camera here today is because they don't want the glory. They don't want the credit. They just want to do a good job,” says Hunterdon County Freeholder Director John Lanza.

Officials say that the dispatchers felt empathy for the victims in Texas because they dealt with the crises brought on by Superstorm Sandy.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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