Just days after rescuing an family stranded by flood waters on the roof of their Overland Park home, Cyrus Dawson of Blue Springs and Spencer Sherf of Leawood headed to Texas in a military tactical truck to help Texans stranded by Hurricane Harvey. Dawson, who sent photos from Port Neches, said flood waters were about 5 feet deep in most areas. Cory Crofford of Kansas City, Kan. also helped in the rescue efforts. For now, Dawson remains in Port Neches, waiting to see if officials still need his help. Photos courtesy of Cyrus Dawson and Spencer Sherf. Tammy Ljungblad and Joe Robertson The Kansas City Star
Just days after rescuing an family stranded by flood waters on the roof of their Overland Park home, Cyrus Dawson of Blue Springs and Spencer Sherf of Leawood headed to Texas in a military tactical truck to help Texans stranded by Hurricane Harvey. Dawson, who sent photos from Port Neches, said flood waters were about 5 feet deep in most areas. Cory Crofford of Kansas City, Kan. also helped in the rescue efforts. For now, Dawson remains in Port Neches, waiting to see if officials still need his help. Photos courtesy of Cyrus Dawson and Spencer Sherf. Tammy Ljungblad and Joe Robertson The Kansas City Star

Local

Rescuers from Blue Springs have life-changing experience in Texas flooding

By Joe Robertson

jrobertson@kcstar.com

September 03, 2017 9:01 PM

A privately owned heavy military vehicle already well known around Kansas City for a flood rescue carried its drivers into a life-changing experience this past week in Texas.

Cyrus Dawson drove the truck from Blue Springs into Port Neches, Texas, where marooned families in homes and apartment buildings needed evacuations, water and medicines.

The coastal towns east of Houston bared flood scars and debris in power lines and higher than highway interchanges, he said, laying so many people’s livelihoods and possessions to waste.

“This is huge,” he said by phone from the Houston area Sunday night. The rescue work, he said, “makes me want to recalculate what I’m doing in life.”

Landscape business operators Dawson and Spencer Sherf previously made headlines when they took their military surplus Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck to the rescue of an Overland Park family of seven who had been trapped on their roof during a local flood in August.

Live video from the rescue truck as Overland Park family is taken to safety

After eight hours of waiting on their south Overland Park rooftop, Emiliano Yepez-Martinez’s family was rescued at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday by Cyrus Dawson and Spencer Sherf. Video courtesy of Spencer Sherf/Facebook.

Jason Boatright The Kansas City Star

Then came Hurricane Harvey and the record-setting flooding of Houston and southeastern Texas. On Aug. 28 they embarked for Texas with their truck, which they say can plow through water up to 7-feet deep.

In the Houston area they teamed up for a while with what has become known as the Cajun Navy, a Dunkirk-styled mobilization of citizens with boats, he said. Thursday and Friday they were working in Port Neches, helping private and public service boats get to flooded areas, he aid.

The truck has a crane that was being used to lift and carry rescue boats through low-water areas between high-water areas. They also ferried out people who wanted to leave apartment complexes and other residences.

The duo was assisted by Kansas City-area volunteers Cory Crofford and Lindsey Leimbach, who accompanied them on the mission, Dawson said.

Before the vehicle became known as a flood rescue truck, it served Dawson’s Stonehenge Landscape & Exteriors, delivering materials for swimming pools, landscaping and masonry jobs.

The 20-ton truck rides on eight 52-inch wheels and can do up to 65 mph on the highway to help speed the long ride to Houston.

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