It’s one of a few viral stories swirling around Twitter as rain from Hurricane Harvey floods Houston: A reporter, broadcasting live from a rain-soaked roadside, flags down a rescue crew of sheriff’s deputies, pointing them to a driver stuck in a semi truck on the waterlogged road below.
Thousands shared the TV station’s video on Facebook. Twitter made it into a Moment. And some Treasure Valley residents may have recognized Brandi Smith, the KHOU reporter who helped save the truck’s driver.
For two years, Smith worked as a reporter and weather forecaster for KIVI-TV covering the Treasure Valley.
It’s been some time since she reported on Idaho’s news — Smith’s stint here lasted from spring 2004 to summer 2006. Smith, who grew up in Umpqua, Ore., south of Eugene, has worked for KHOU-TV in Houston since February. She spent nearly six years at KEZI-TV in Eugene and has worked for two other Texas television stations since 2015.
The reporter and her cameraman, who at some points were their station’s only correspondent as KHOU’s headquarters flooded, waited anxiously as a rescue crew made its way to the truck driver. A video on Smith’s Facebook page shows the reporter and cameraman Mario Sandoval as they met rescuers and Robert, the driver, back on land.
“Sir, thank god you’re OK,” Smith says as she approaches Robert. “How does it feel to be on land? What went through your mind when you saw that water?”
“Lord help me. Lord help me. Lord help me,” Robert replies. “And get me out of here safely.”