Flooding spurs HISD community members to take action

Educators at two HISD elementary schools have stepped up to handle the effects of the recent flooding, each in their own way.

On May 26, Steven Shannon, a music teacher at Lyons Elementary School, saved a woman from drowning.

Shannon was on a walk when he noticed that Glenda Reynolds was trapped in her car by the rising water in the underpass beneath Shepherd Drive. Shannon and three other Good Samaritans swam out and extricated Reynolds and her dog from the vehicle.

“There was water deep enough to go up to my shoulders,” Shannon said. “I saw that she had plunged into the water, saw that she was trying to open her car door, and she couldn’t get out. I started calling 911 and when I realized they wouldn’t be able to get there in time, I swam out there.”

By the time Shannon and the other rescuers had dragged Reynolds—who does not know how to swim—to shore, the car was completely submerged. Footage of the daring rescue can be seen on abc13’s website.

“The students have been really, really excited,” said Shannon. “It’s a good feeling.”

On the other side of the city, Kolter Elementary School is helping families clean up in the flood’s aftermath. Principal Steven Shetzer declared that his school would be open on Saturday, May 30, so that children could be taken care of while their families cleaned out homes damaged by the storm. Kolter is also collecting clothing donations for those who lost their possessions.

Children will be able to watch movies and play board games between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.. that day. A former parent has volunteered to provide free pizza and drinks, and from 8 to 11 a.m., clothing will be distributed in the cafeteria. Houston-based program Undies for Everyone has already donated two hundred pairs of underwear.

“We are very fortunate to have such a great community,” said Shetzer. “It is very important for us to have something to help bring normalcy to their lives after the flooding.”