Troup officers Sergeant Kyle Stowers and Lieutenant Shawn Murry recently travelled to Orange County on their own time and at their own expense to help in and around Vidor. Lieutenant Murray even took a vacation day in order to be able to go when they did. They left on Thursday, Aug. 31 and spent the long weekend volunteering their time and efforts, returning on Labor Day, Sept. 4.
When asked whose idea it was to go, Murry responded the “things we heard on the radio of people in attics or on rooftops” made them want to help. The two men went to Vidor specifically because they had heard a report on the radio of “possible shots fired.” Though nothing came of such reports, Stowers and Murry were able to provide security for other volunteers.
Murry stated that they would liked to have gone down sooner, but they “didn’t have a boat” until someone was willing to lend them one. When they had a boat Police Chief Pat Hendrix gave them the go-ahead.
Once there, the pair was asked by local firefighters to perform the gruesome task of checking fully submerged vehicles remaining in roadways. They were fortunate enough to find only empty cabs.
The two police officers also assisted by delivering medicine to some who could not get out of their homes, transporting paramedics to one who had called with heart problems and even transporting a wheelchair bound woman approximately three miles to a waiting ambulance which could go no farther due to the flooding.
“We couldn’t stay as long as we’d like,” Murry declared. Though he was relieved the roadways were finally clearing as he and Stowers were leaving.
There would be less probability of looting “with more vehicles being able to travel in and out” Murry said.
Murry concluded that it “felt good” to be able to aid people in crisis. He added that the “purpose was to help, not profit off people in need.”