PALM BAY, Fla. – As images were coming in Saturday of Hurricane Harvey's devastation in Texas, a group of Brevard County cleaning and restoration workers 1,000 miles away hit the road in a convoy of vehicles headed for Houston.
"The roads are flooding. Water's rushing over the roadways. Houston's filled up with water," Phil Colaiacomo told News 6.
Colaiacomo and two dozen coworkers from Armstrong's Restoration and Construction are responding to catastrophic property and human damages of the unprecedented storm.
"Last night, two elderly ladies were trying to get through some rushing waters, a river that has overflown, and they got stuck. We had to go out there and help them get out of the river," the 31-year-old, whose family started Armstrong's, said.
Workers are waiting for floodwaters to recede so they can make their way closer to Houston.
The group is staying in a hotel in Conroe, Texas, 40 miles north of the city.
The highways leading into the city remain impassable, they said.
"There's bridges, overpasses and underpasses that are completely submerged in the city," Colaiacomo said.
As the workers bog down in the hotel, their coworker Sean Lowe is monitoring the team's status from Palm Bay.
"Right now, they just finally got to an area where they can bunker up in a hotel," Lowe, Armstrong's mitigation manager said.
The workers said they expect to stay in Texas for weeks working to help secure homes and help more victims.
"It's a trying situation," Lowe said. "We will prevent them from getting any further type of water intrusion to the best of our ability, sandbagging outside that can we try and keep from doors going in, placing roof tarps on homes."
Two dozen Central Floridians with the Red Cross were also in Texas Monday.
The Red Cross said more workers from the Space Coast will hit the road in the coming days.
"All of the Gulf Coast of Texas is really in a bad situation right now, so we're doing what we can to support here from Central Florida," Mike McElrath, the disaster program manager of the Space Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross, said.
When asked if Hurricane Matthew prepared workers for responding to flooding in Houston, Colaiacomo said it didn't compare.
"This flooding here, this is a one in 500 year flood. This here is something different. You could probably never be prepared for anything like this. We get to go home when we're done. These peoples' lives are ruined," he said.