HOUSTON - There have been a lot of tributes for the first responders on the front lines of Harvey and salutes for unlikely Harvey heroes.
Few would've imagined a meteorologist caught in the eye of the storm would also win the admiration of a city.
For many during Hurricane Harvey, Jeff Lindner was the calm during the storm. The meteorologist with the Harris County Flood Control District went from a behind-the-scenes guy to a familiar face during press conferences and on social media.
A year later, Lindner is still talking about the record storm and the lessons learned. What was the most surprising thing about the storm? He says, “It was the widespread nature of it. Flooding went from Beaumont, Port Arthur, are all the way down to the Victoria area. We're talking 15 to 20 counties involved all at the same time. We're talking 35 inches of rain over 10,000 square miles.”
The Texas A&M graduate says one of the biggest takeaways was how to get information to people.
Since Harvey, the county has introduced new technology that shows how high floodwaters are near you.
Lindner explained, “There are customizable real-time alerts to your cell phones from your gauge station.”
Harris County's Flood Warning System now has a real time Inundation map.
“It shows the area that's being flooded from the creek or bayou, how wide that's getting so you can find your house and see how close its getting to your house.” said Lindner.
“It’s our job to give people the information so people can make the best decisions to protect themselves, their property, their families.” he said.
Also on the job? His wife, Lillie Lindner.
She works at the flood control district, as well. An unexpected impact of the storm? “We'll go places and people will recognize him. It was kind of mind blowing.” she said.
Strangers even set up a GoFundMe account to send him on vacation after the storm. Last year, KHOU 11 went with him as he donated the money to unsuspecting storm victims. They were often emotional at the surprise gifts.
Some $24,000 donated by strangers was given to flood victims who were picked at random.
“Just goes to show maybe how much we didn't realize at the time, how much Jeff was having an impact.” Lillie said.