Hurricane Harvey has affected many lives in the state of Texas this week, causing flooding most notably in many parts of the Houston metropolitan area.
Many sports stars that have links to the area have supported those affected by the storm one way or another whether that be through donations or actually being on the streets helping people get out of the flood.
One of those that has been affected is Jonathon Simmons. The Orlando Magic forward's hometown is Houston, and he was very thankful that there was those on hand to help him and his family escape to safety.
Speaking to NBA.com, Simmons said he never felt prouder of coming from Houston than he did on Tuesday thanks to the help of the rescue workers. He was crowded onto a boat with two-dozen others, had to trek through knee-deep waters and forced to ride on the back of a truck.
"It’s devastating. Luckily, none of my family was seriously affected, but I see a lot of my friends suffering and that’s difficult. But I’m also proud of how the city of Houston has come together to help one another. On the upside and the brighter side, there’s that seeing how people have been there to help one another.’’
Simmons recalled the events of the past week and the extreme circumstances himself and his family went through.
"Saturday night it started raining about 8 o’clock, but we had gotten over there about 3 o’clock just to be safe. I had bought all of these air mattresses and covers and blankets and food and water for everybody.
"We were good for three days, but my other friend’s house had started getting flooded early, so he came there to the house, too. So that gave us another 11 extra people and most of them were kids. We had to let the kids eat first, so most of the last two days it was kind of rough (without food).
"There was at least 20 people in the house and probably eight of them were kids. When I was little, my mom always kept the fridge full of stuff (during hurricanes). This time, I ate a pack of ramen noodles and that’s all for like a day-and-a-half."
Lucky for Simmons and his family, his house was positioned on a hill, meaning flood waters didn't reach the house but it was only 10 feet away, and other houses on his street weren't as lucky. When the food ran out in his house though, he knew he needed to get his family out, and luckily for him, he knew rapper Trae the Truth through a mutual friend, who came to the rescue, but their troubles didn't end there.
"We still had to ride a boat, walk through muddy water and ride on the back of a dumpster truck for like five miles. It was crazy. I had to hold up my people and I had some kids with me. Most of the kids were old enough to walk, but one of them I had to carry with me.’’
As the waters recede hopefully over the next coming days, Simmons wants to do what he can to give back to others in Houston by donating his time and his money to those that helped him and others that still need help.