Delco native rescues people, pets from Houston flood

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Delco native rescues people, pets from Houston flood. Dann Cuellar reports during Action News at 11pm on August 29, 2017. (WPVI)

A Delaware County native is among the countless good Samaritans who took to the water to help those trapped by floodwaters in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

John McCracken, 40, moved from Essington, Pa. to Houston six years ago.

He is the vice president for U.S. Security Associates, and was on his boat Monday surveying damage to the company's offices when he noticed people who were being threatened by rising floodwaters.

So, he moved into action.

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Chad Pradelli reports from the flood zone in Houston, Texas on Action News at 5pm on August 29, 2017.

"He says he's seen a lot of sick people and those who couldn't walk, it was hard to get them on and off the boat, the current was tough to fight," said his aunt, Christine Culin.

"He also had people who refused to leave and get saved," Culin continued. "I said, 'What did you do?' He says he didn't have time to debate it, he had so many people to rescue he couldn't - you know - he just had to move on and go get the other people."

Complete coverage of Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath

The former Army veteran who did two tours in Iraq rescued 76 people, including 49 children. He is also credited with saving 11 dogs and two cats.

After getting his own family out of their flooded home in the suburban Woodlands community, he went back and rescued four more people.

"I got goose bumps just thinking about it, I'm very, very, very, very proud of him, very proud of him. Not only did he serve his country, now he's doing his civil duty too," said his uncle, John Paciotti.

McCracken declined to be interviewed, saying he wasn't looking for publicity.

"When I said you wanted to talk to him he said 'no,'" Culin said. "I said 'Why? You're a hero.' He says, 'I'm not a hero, I'm an American.'"

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How to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Nydia Han reports during Action News at 4:30pm on August 29, 2017.

As he was wrapping up, he noticed a stray dog stranded in the flood waters.

"He said he just couldn't leave it, so he took the dog back and he named it Harvey. Now it's part of his family," said Culin.

McCracken's boss says with many people managing to escape with their lives, families and the clothes on their back, John McCracken rose above personal tragedy to do heroic work, and it's humbling.

For information on how you can help the victims of Harvey, visit this link here on
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