Houston mattress salesman rescues about 120 people from Imelda flooding

A Houston furniture salesman reportedly rescued more than 100 people from flooding caused by Tropical Storm Imelda. 

The Washington Post reported Friday that Jim McIngvale, owner of the Gallery Furniture showroom in Houston, dispatched a number of furniture delivery trucks to rescue stranded residents Thursday as Imelda battered the region, causing heavy flooding in parts of the city.


“I’m a half-capitalist and half-social-worker,” he told the Post. “I can’t let my people drown. It’s so easy to open the doors and let them in. ... They’ve got pretty much all the creature comforts they need. We let them in and take care of them, just let them know that people care about them."

A total of 120 people ended up at his furniture showroom after the rescues were completed, the Post reported, including 20 who ended up staying overnight in the store.

"A lot of these homes right here on the northside are badly flooded," McIngvale told ABC affiliate KTRK. "It's another tough situation, but we're going to be here to help like Houston always helps us."

McIngvale told KTRK that his store previously opened up as a shelter during Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Texas in 2017, causing massive damage to the region. After the story, he raised $106,000 and donated furniture to victims.

"One of the best things about Houston is we come through these dark hours very well. I know it's devastating when water is coming in their house, devastating when their cars are flooded. We got through Harvey, we'll get through this, let's keep our chins up, keep helping each other," he told the news station.