Five-year-old Giovanni Martinez sits sleepless on his cot late into the night, sometimes until 1 a.m. The Perez Elementary School student — one of several hundred students displaced in last week’s floods — hasn’t been sleeping since his family rushed out of their home last week as water rose around them.
They piled into the family van, but the floodwaters were soon too high to drive. His father, Manuel Martinez, mother, Esther Gutierrez, and his four siblings, ages 2 to 11, climbed on top of the van where they waited for rescue. About a half-dozen neighbors eventually piled on with them. The water was a few inches from their feet when firefighters arrived.
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To get help
Displaced families who haven’t yet reached out to the Austin school district’s Project Help can do so at 512-414-3690. The Red Cross at the Dove Springs Recreation Center at 5801 Ainez Drive and the Family Resource Center at Mendez Middle School can provide additional help.