By Nick Powell
At first glance, Virgil Smith looks and acts like a typical 13-year old — a soft-spoken, sports-obsessed Houston Texans and Rockets fan who loves playing NBA2K online with friends.
But the raging floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey turned this shy teenager into a “citizen hero.”
When Virgil’s hometown of Dickinson was drenched in the wee hours of Sunday, Aug. 27, he was in locked in an online video game matchup with his friend, Keshaun. The rain and thunder outside provided a noisy soundtrack to their competition, but Virgil paid the weather little mind.
“I checked out my window first and I was like, ‘Nah, it ain’t nothing,’” Virgil recalled in an interview this week. “It was raining but didn’t look like nothing that would flood. Then, in about an hour, the whole apartment just got flooded super quick.”
Water poured in after Virgil’s mother, Lisa Wallace, opened the front door of the family’s first-floor apartment. In a panic, Wallace, Virgil and his older sister, Diamond, grabbed as many things as they could and got out, the water rising to nearly above their heads. Two men helped Lisa up nearby stairs to a neighbor’s apartment on the second floor, while Virgil swam with his sister to the stairs.
Source: Houston Chronicle