As Hurricane Harvey ravages Texas, one photo of an officer carrying two children out of the flood serves as a bright spot during the devastating tropical storm that has killed at least ten and injured dozens more.
Deputy Rick Johnson, along with other officers from the Harris County Sheriff's Office, was traveling door-to-door in Cypress, Texas, in order to see if anyone was in need of help. At one of the very first houses he visited, he discovered a family with two small children, an infant, and a dog.
"I grabbed the kids, and in order to keep the kids focused on happy thoughts given the seriousness of what was going on around us, I told them a couple of light jokes. We joked about swimming, and the water being cold," he told Time.
He also instructed the parents to grab the essentials -- their identification cards and some money. With water up to his thighs, he carried a child on each arm to the rescue vehicle, which already had 15 to 20 people ready to be taken to a nearby emergency shelter.
Johnson then returned to help the children's parents and their dog.
A photo of Johnson's rescue was posted to the Harris County Sheriff's Office Twitter page and has quickly gone viral, with many calling him a hero.
Johnson wasn't aware that a photo was being taken at the time, nor that most of the nation was applauding his work. A veteran who served in the Iraq War, he joined the force simply to help his community. When the storm hit, he had to cancel plans to take his 20-year-old step-daughter to school in Corpus Christi so he could assist rescue efforts.
"I've always liked helping people out," he said.
Southern Texas has already experienced more than 30 inches of rain, according to The New York Times. Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city, did not mandate evacuations, leaving countless people trapped in their homes as the streets continue to flood.
"[This is] one of the largest disasters America has ever faced," said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, adding that it will probably take years for the state to entirely recover.
Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has estimated that more than 450,000 people will apply for federal assistance once the storm finally passes.
"We’re going to be here for several years helping you guys recover," he said. "The state of Texas is about to undergo one of the largest recovery housing missions the nation has ever seen."