In the wake of devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey, which brought torrential rainfall throughout the Houston, Texas region, quarterback Colt McCoy, a Texas native with friends and family in the region, is doing all he can to help.
McCoy has lent his personal 16-foot skiff boat to a group of friends, one of them including former Texas football teammate Jordan Shipley, to assist in relief efforts to help evacuate families around the west side of Houston. He has also donated funds to a couple of organizations that will help purchase more boats to canvas flooded areas, bringing supplies and transportation to those stranded by the storm.
"That's the least I can do from here," McCoy said Tuesday after practice. "It's tough. I don't have a family in Houston, but everybody in America knows somebody from Houston -- there's six million people there. It certainly has affected a lot of my friends and family. I'm just trying to do the things that I can from up here to help out."
McCoy said his brother's wife's family had to leave their home in the Houston region with their pets to stay in Austin, where McCoy stays in the offseason and where much of his family lives now.
"Everybody got out of there," McCoys said of his sister-in-law's family. "Unfortunately they don't know what's going on or how bad it's going to be yet. They're back in Austin now and it's just a waiting game trying figure out when they can get back."
The National Weather service announced Tuesday that Harvey had broken the all-time Texas rainfall record from a tropical storm or hurricane, dropping more than 49 inches of rain in southeast Houston.
McCoy said one of his buddies informed him about the group they were forming to drive down from Austin to Houston to provide relief and McCoy told them to take his boat, which had a trailer hitch for their truck.
"They just hooked it up to the truck and drove as close as they could to the west side of Houston and have gone into neighborhoods and they're just helping out," McCoy said. "I wish I could be there to help that.
"They specifically went to a couple neighborhoods – I don't know exactly where they are -- that [people] were basically stranded out in the second floor of their house," he said. "Nobody really knew how bad it was going to be, you might only have two or three days of supplies. Living upstairs in your house for that long, you're going to need a way out. What it sounds like to me is the more that they can give the better, so we're giving funds to buy a few more boats. It doesn't have to be anything fancy just something they can move around in."
Three other Redskins – Trent Williams, Dustin Hopkins and Joey Mbu – all spend time in Houston during the offseason and have been monitoring the situation closely, making sure friends and family members that live in the area are OK.
"Obviously our prayers are with all the people in Texas, especially Houston," said McCoy, who grew up west of Dallas in Tuscola. "Lots of high school football teams have had to cancel part of their schedule and it's affected so many lives that we just really don't think about."