Police officer drowns in Harvey floodwaters, report says

Posted August 30, 2017

Steve Perez drowned Sunday after Hurricane Harvey struck, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Tuesday.

The officer, who's been with the Houston Police Department for over 30 years, was on his way to downtown Houston when he got trapped in floodwaters on I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Acevedo said officers believed they had found Perez on Monday night but could not recover his body.

"He spent about two and a half hours driving around, trying to get to his duty station", Acevedo said. According to CBS Dallas Fort Worth, Perez's family had asked him to stay home on Sunday because of the risky weather conditions, but Sgt. Perez insisted. "He could not find a path".

"Unfortunately in the darkness, Sgt. Perez drove into an underpass that's about 16.5 feet, drove into the water and he died in a flood, in a drowning-type event", Acevedo said.

The 34-year department veteran's body was recovered from his vehicle early Tuesday morning.

"Every single day we ask our men and women in blue to show up, to come to work when conditions are good and even when conditions are very challenging", said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

"He was trying different routes, and took a wrong turn", one unidentified high-ranking official said.

At least 15 other people have died in the storm.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast Friday night, bringing heavy rains and risky flooding across southeastern Texas that is expected to continue throughout the week.