NEW YORK -- With a heavy rain still pounding Southeast Texas due to Hurricane Harvey and floodwaters rising in multiple towns, Nicholas Goody decided to check in on his aunt late Tuesday night. The response he received from his family in Beaumont, Texas, left the Indians reliever feeling helpless."Usually she's
NEW YORK -- With a heavy rain still pounding Southeast Texas due to Hurricane Harvey and floodwaters rising in multiple towns, Nicholas Goody decided to check in on his aunt late Tuesday night. The response he received from his family in Beaumont, Texas, left the Indians reliever feeling helpless.
"Usually she's really happy, but I could tell something was wrong," Goody said. "I called her, and she said, 'Our house is flooding. It's me, the two dogs, Uncle Kevin and one of our friends. We're stuck.' There's nothing I can physically do."
Goody did the only thing he could come up with in that moment: He posted his aunt's address on Twitter in hope that someone could reach her house via boat. Tribe outfielder Jay Bruce was born and raised in Beaumont, and he has been experiencing that same sickening feeling of helplessness in recent days. He is doing his part by teaming with Cleveland Indians Charities to send relief funds to aid his hometown's recovery.
Through Sept. 10, all donations made to CIC will go toward the relief efforts in Southeast Texas, with Bruce and his wife, Hannah, matching up to $100,000 during that time period. That initiative came together Tuesday evening, and Bruce expressed gratitude for how willing and quickly the Indians were in offering assistance.
"It's affecting so many more people than I could've ever imagined that I know personally," Bruce said. "Houston's obviously gotten devastated, and it's a terrible scene there, as well. They're getting a lot of relief efforts and a lot of people to that area. That's great, and it needs to happen, for sure. But with Beaumont, and that area of Southeast Texas, it may not be getting quite the attention that Houston's getting.
"And as someone from there with the platform to raise awareness and do my part, since I can't be there helping, I felt like this was a no-brainer for me."
On his way to Yankee Stadium for Wednesday's doubleheader, Bruce said he spoke to someone in Beaumont who was watching a person being pulled out of a tree as water raged below. Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin -- a native of Whitehouse, Texas, outside Dallas -- said one of his friends headed to the Houston area with a duck boat to help in any way he could. Tomlin offered his own boat, if needed.
Around 3 a.m. ET, Goody learned that his Aunt Paula and the rest of the people trapped in her home were rescued by members of the Cajun Navy, a group of volunteer boat owners who assist during natural disasters. Goody did not get much rest overnight, but he was relieved to learn that his aunt was safe.
"You never think it happens to you until it happens," Goody said. "It's unbelievable. That Cajun Navy, everybody that's helping down there, guys who have boats are just willing to help, that's huge. Can't ask for much more. Those guys are giving up their time, helping people they don't even know. It's not just my family."
Bruce, who is building a home in Beaumont and lives there in the offseason, said the houses of his family members in the area have not been impacted by flooding yet. The outfielder knows plenty of people who have been affected, though, and he knows the damage extends well beyond that, too. Putting together the relief fund was the least he could do.
"The real heroes and the people that are worthy of praise are in boats right now saving people," Bruce said. "Those are the people that really need to be celebrated, need to be talked about. I'm doing what I can from a distance, and hopefully I can help with the rebuilding efforts. But it's going to take a long time."
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.