HOUSTON - A website launched during Harvey is still helping rescue people all around the world.
Crowdsource Rescue is basically a dispatch for citizen first responders. It connects people who need to be rescued with volunteers ready to help. A year after Harvey, it's also reuniting heroes with the families they helped.
It's been a long journey home.
"On this side, it was the deeper side, it was all the way up to the window seals," said Bruce Sealy, who had 8 inches of water inside his home.
Since 1997, he and his wife, Sharon, have lived in their house in the Lakes of Eldridge subdivision in west Houston.
"A year ago, we were frantically moving stuff upstairs," she said.
"If I had been out in the street when we were fully flooded, it would have been up to my chest and I'm 6'4,'" Sealy said.
When they made the decision to leave, they didn't call 911. They turned to a friend's post on Facebook.
"If I'm going to call somebody to come and rescue me, I want to call somebody I know," Sharon Sealy said.
That somebody was Matthew Marchetti, who built the website Crowdsource Rescue and was posting on Facebook during Harvey offering help.
"Definitely the coolest and craziest thing I will probably ever do in my life," Marchetti said.
The website originally designed to organize rescues for his church, Chapelwood United Methodist Church, quickly took off and was even something the Cajun Navy started to use.
"The website didn't rescue anybody. Tens of thousands of civilian rescuers, those are the ones that rescued. We just made what they were already doing just a little bit easier," Marchetti said.
Within an hour or so of calling, the Sealy family had rescuers at their front door who were even willing to take their three dogs.
"They were from Bryan...and she grew up in College Station, and we both went to Texas A&M," Bruce Sealy said.
The Aggies, as they always do, instantly found a connection.
"We're not the type of people who will sit back and watch something on TV," said Clint Eastepp, a Bryan firefighter.
They were a group of friends, off-duty Bryan firefighters who drove down after working a 24-hour shift because they wanted to help.
"There's just a ton of people trying to help, and not everyone knows where to go and what needs to be done," said Aaron Pruitt, who is also with the Bryan Fire Department.
Using an app called Zello, they connected with Crowdsource Rescue, who connected them to families like the Sealys.
"It's hard to imagine what the impact would have been without all these people helping. There would have been a lot more people who would have died," Bruce Sealy said.
Six months after Harvey, the Sealys finally moved back home.
"We got to get everything back to a place where it belongs, which we are not there yet," Bruce Sealy said.
What keeps them going is the kindness of strangers, that crossed paths during the storm.
"We were just glad to be able to help in some small way," Eastepp said.
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart, because without them, I'd probably be a basket case," Sharon Sealy said.
Crowdsource Rescue didn’t stop after Harvey. They’ve helped rescue people during Hurricanes Irma, Maria and during the Mexico City earthquakes. They told KHOU they’ve been contacted by cities and emergency managers across the country, who want to learn more about their operation.