Houston police officer drowns in historic flood

Houston Police officer drowns in flood waters from Hurricane Harvey

A Houston police officer reportedly drowned in his patrol auto after floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey trapped him in his vehicle.

Sgt. Perez left his home in heavy rain at 4:30 a.m.to report to an investigation, even though his wife urged him to stay home because of the unsafe driving conditions.

On Monday, commanders realized that Perez had not made it to the station in Kingwood. The aftermath of storms like Harvey are marked by heartbreak and, as Long said while encouraging Americans to support its victims, moving forward will be about helping Texas "find a new normal". At about 10 p.m. Monday, police had narrowed the search area to the Hardy Tollway and Beltway 8 - an area where they felt there was a high sense of probability that it was the last place he would have been.

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The Houston Police Department dive team located the vehicle, officers waited until morning to recover him. "They know it's going to be a while because we have some work to do ― work that he would want us to do". Perez disappeared while trying to reach his work station; he had gone to work even after his wife and father-in-law, a war veteran, had urged him to stay home. His wife had asked him not to go into work that day, but Perez responded with, "We've got work to do", Acevedo said.

The Houston cop who died in floodwaters while driving to work was a "sweet and gentle public servant" who was dedicated to his job, the city's weeping police chief said Tuesday during a press conference.

The officer's family has not been formally notified, but his death is the 15th fatality in Texas blamed on Hurricane Harvey. At least eight people, including Perez, have been confirmed dead as a result of the storm, officials said.

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