Before moving to Green Bay, this UWGB freshman rescued Harvey victims in Houston

GREEN BAY, Wis. - Thursday was freshmen move-in day at UW-Green Bay. But for one freshman, the moving in came after an emergency move out.

James Finley and his family arrived on campus Thursday after a 23-hour drive from Houston, Texas. Before that long journey, they spent long days doing something else: saving their neighbors from Hurricane Harvey's rising flood waters.

"When our neighborhood started flooding, we went around and were knocking on all the doors and we started loading families and pets in," said Finley's mother Helena.

The Finley's used their canoe and kayaks to save neighbors, but James' skill set also helped. He will be a member of the Phoenix swim team.

"He was a tremendous help and his strength was good too," Helena said. "In many cases, people were loaded into the kayaks and he pulled two kayaks through the water just walking through the water." 

While James is excited to start college, he's also keeping an eye on things back home.

"I'm a little bit heartbroken that I can't help and I can't help my friends who flooded, and my own house that's flooded, but I'm also proud," James explained. "My friends are going around neighborhoods helping people."

The Finley's home was damaged with about 6 to 7 inches of water, but they were more worried about rescuing others. They even brought some into their home.

"It's just the best that you can do in a time when others need you," he said.

Ms. Finley said after moving her son into his dorm she and her husband would be driving to the former high school of J.J. Watt, who plays for the Houston Texans NFL football team.  She said they will gather donations at Pewaukee High School to take down to Texas.  

 

VIDEO: Shopko and NBC26 teaming up for Hurricane Harvey relief drive

 
Print this article Back to Top