I saw Harvey's devastation first-hand as a volunteer

Our five-man team is in Katy, Tex., using flat-bottomed boats, riding house to house through neighborhoods. The water is rising, and there are a lot of people still in their homes.

There’s a lot of tears. A lot of emotion. That’s their life, their home. They don’t know if they will ever come back. Just a lot of unknowns.

There is one woman, about 50 years old. She has her entire family with her: Several small children, her husband, her brother. They are freaking out, because they are emotional about their possessions.

They come from Egypt. It is all they have. My emotions come up, too. It makes you shed a tear — people walking out of their front doors, and walking backward for one last look.

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They are leaving all their life memories behind.

How many people did not evacuate as of Tuesday? If you pass 50 homes, 25 to 30 still have people in them.

There’s nothing in the law that says you have to leave your home. It’s more of a suggestion. People are just trying to hold on to what they know, and some refuse to let go.

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Andrew White (left) helps a neighbor down a street after rescuing her from her home in his boat in the upscale River Oaks neighborhood after it was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

We saw people who stayed. We drive by and give them the thumbs up. “You OK?” If they say yes, we let them be and keep looking for others.

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So many people are in the shelters. I’ve seen people shoulder to shoulder. All the electrical power and gas are shut off, and any house where the water came through on the first floor is going to need work.

As I know from prior disasters, the black mold will come in the houses in less than a week. That will start devastating houses, a lot of houses.

AUG. 29, 2017 FILE PHOTO

Interstate 69 is covered by floodwaters from Harvey, in Humble, Texas. Hurricane Harvey has hit Houston with record rains and flooding that killed at least 25 and drove tens of thousands from their homes. 

(David J. Phillip/AP)

There are so many unexpected things that happen in a scenario like this.

A couple just started swimming away, and we don’t know what happened to them.

It’s not just people — we’re seeing wildlife. We came upon a herd of cows — donkeys and cows in this urban neighborhood, and nobody knew where they came from. The cows are terrified.

On Monday, there was a big buck we pulled out. People in Texas actually have lassos, and they lassoed the horns. The deer’s nose was barely above the water. Five-point buck with a huge rack.

Former U.S. Marine Breaux Burns, 38, of Durango, Colo., came to Houston with Team Rubicon — a private, nonprofit, volunteer rescue organization.

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