On the night of Sunday, Aug. 28, Matthew Marchetti was one of thousands of Houstonians feeling powerless as their city drowned in tropical storm Harvey’s deluge.
By Monday morning, the 27-year-old developer, sitting in his leaky office, had slapped together an online mapping tool to track stranded residents. A day later, nearly 5,000 people had registered to be rescued, and 2,700 of them were safe.
If there’s a silver lining to Harvey, it’s the flood of civilian volunteers such as Marchetti who have joined the rescue effort. It became pretty clear shortly after the storm started pounding Houston that the city would need their help.