“There’s heroes everywhere. All the responders, they’re heroes to me. I don’t feel like I’m a hero. I got strength from God to do that.”
On Tuesday morning flooding stopped motorists at I-10 and Beltway 8 West. Norman Faust, restaurant manager of Taste of Texas in Katy, was among them. That’s when, Norman says, “I saw the car, and the car was sideways.”
Despite pouring rain and deepening water, Norman got out of his car and went for a closer look. Norman recalls, “I saw her head so that’s when I yelled, ‘Does anyone have a rope?'”
Another driver did have enough rope to tie around Norman’s waist and create a makeshift harness. “‘Can you hold me?'” Norman asked the bystander, “So he threw that rope to me and I tied it around, he held it, and I walked out there.”
You can see in the video that the floodwaters washed above Norman’s shoulders. Wading blindly through that deep, dark water with no firm or visible footing, would have been difficult and extremely dangerous.
Finally, he reached her.
“‘Everything is gonna be fine,” Norman reassured the terrified woman. “Put your hands around my neck hold on to me.’ I could see the fear in her eyes and I didn’t want anything else to happen, so – I like to joke – I said, ‘You just can’t get fresh with me right now!'”
Despite his easy going words, the situation was dire. “I was actually scared she might panic, she might not hold onto me.” But hold on she did, and Norman was able to wade through the rising waters toward higher ground.
Of course, Norman had no idea at the time, but a bystander on a nearby bridge had filmed Norman wading out to the engulfed vehicle. That’s around the time that a KHOU News van happened upon the scene, and the witness showed them the incredible rescue she had just captured on her cell.
KHOU’s Shern-min Chow interviewed Norman the next day, and he told her with remarkable humility, “There’s heroes everywhere. All the responders, they’re heroes to me. I don’t feel like I’m a hero. I got strength from God to do that.”
Chow notes that besides the witness on the bridge with her cell phone, “It seems that someone else was also watching from above.”