The impact of Hurricane Harvey will be felt in Houston for generations, and it's hard to feel any sense of victory as thousands of Texas residents have seen their lives changed permanently. There are some small stories about the triumph of the human spirit, however, and they make it a little easier to continue picking up the pieces during this trying time.
One such story stems from the heroics of a meteorologist named Jeff Lindner, who is responsible for monitoring the weather in Harris County, one of the areas in Texas hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey last week. As the storm overtook the area, Lindner remained a constant presence in front of the residents of Harris County, offering them updates on floods and sharing pictures from residents on his Twitter feed to underscore the devastation left by Harvey.
Residents of the surrounding area were grateful that Lindner went above and beyond to look out for his fellow Texans in the middle of a natural disaster. To show their support for the local meteorologist, another local named Blake Ford set up a GoFundMe page for Lindner, seeking to buy a vacation for the weatherman as a reward for all his hard work.
"He has provided us with a calm, analytical, and composed presence during an incredibly fluid and complicated situation: never once looking uncertain or overwhelmed while discussing planned releases and changing water levels," reads Ford's message. "Tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people were able to make smarter, more informed decisions about them and their families safety because of Jeff and his determinations."
Starting from a meager goal of just $4,000, the GoFundMe blew up, and as of this writing it has inspired citizens to dump almost $21K in Lindner's direction. Perhaps the best part, however, is that he's not all that interested in taking the funds for himself, and he wants to reroute the money to assist in helping Houston recover from Hurricane Harvey.
Some of that is a legal issue—Harris is a public official for Harris County, and reportedly can accept no more than $100 worth of gifts as a result—but in a press release from the Harris County Flood Control District, he stressed that he's simply doing what he was hired to do.
"It’s overwhelming what has happened to our community," he told. "I’ve just been doing my job and I really wanted to get out to the residents what I would want to hear if I were sitting on the other end."
He talked more about it, which you can watch in the video above via ABC13.
Good things happen when we look out for each other, and Lindner has clearly made a big difference for the people who need his information just to get through another day. If he can do it from the center of the storm, the rest of us can certainly chip in to help the greater Houston area recover from this tragic event.