Consider this the flip side of yesterday’s CNN reporter-rebuke story. Drew Griffin and his crew watched as a pick-up truck went into a flooded drainage ravine in Beaumont, Texas that looked like a street, but instead was 20 feet of moving water. They threw a rope to Jerry Summerall and pulled him out of the truck, all captured on camera, while the truck floated downstream. “I was trying to dial 911,” Griffin said later, “knowing that there was now way they were going to get here in time”:
— CNN (@CNN) August 30, 2017
Give Griffin credit too for grasping the situation. “This is too much of a time for you to be interviewed, sir,” Griffin wisely advised, telling him to seek shelter. Summerall insisted on speaking, however. “I just want to say one thing,” Summerall says off-camera, to which Griffin jokes, “OK, no profanities, this is live TV” — a clear reference to what happened with the CNN reporter seeking comment at the shelter yesterday.
Summerall was just looking for an opportunity to express his appreciation. “I want to thank these guys for saving my life,” he said. Griffin does a brief interview but clearly wants to let the man regain his composure — and the anchor realizes that Griffin might need a moment too.
Beaumont will continue to get hit hard by Hurricane Harvey today, but the storm may move off at some point today. The Beaumont port has closed all operations, as has ExxonMobil. The death toll in Beaumont alone has risen to four, and is likely to go much higher when rescuers can finally resume their search for survivors to evacuate. Summerall is indeed lucky to be alive, and CNN can take some pride in both the rescue and their priorities afterward.