The harrowing floods of Hurricane Harvey have revealed a hometown hero in Rockport.

A young man, named Zachary Dearing, made the decision a little too late to find shelter. His father had already evacuated to Houston so he drove towards the elementary school that would serve as Rockport disaster shelter.

On the way there, a piece of debris being hurled through the air like an MLB pitchers first strike, slammed into the back of his vehicle, shattering both windows.

He continued on and eventually arrived at the brick building. Here he found a different kind of mess than the one he had just traveled through outside.

Dozens of people of all ages gathered in an unorganized mass, generally occupying the gymnasium. They were spread out with some small groups huddled in various spots.

There was no order. There was no system. The “shelter” was utter chaos and Zach knew something had to be done.

Call it personality or character, but a switch flipped inside Zach upon seeing the assembly of terrified locals.

He jumped into gear and began organizing groups together to “raid” the classrooms for supplies. He picked out about 15 volunteers to serve as his raiding party and instructed them to take shifts checking on the elderly through the night.

Pooling resources would be their best chance at weathering this storm. He listed the things to look for, rugs to sleep on, hand sanitizers for cleaning, and trash cans.

Then he convinced everyone to give up any food they had with them so the entire group could get an equal share. At one point, two Rockport police officers came to the shelter and asked where he needed them to help.

At one point, two Rockport police officers came to the shelter and asked where he needed them to help. It hit Zach. They just asked him where they could help. He had taken charge of the shelter when no one else would and the frightened people under him looked to him for guidance.

He never expected to take that position, he just knew it was key to their survival and someone had to do it.

At nightfall, most people converged on the gymnasium to pick a spot on the floor, calling it their own bed for the time being. It didn’t really matter how comfortable they tried to make themselves because the hurricane seemed determined to keep everyone awake. It rattled windows, huffing, and puffing, trying to blow the school into submission.

The next morning brought frustrations for the self-appointed leader, as well as a gleam of hope. He hadn’t slept well and subsequently felt a bit rattled. Supplies were not going to last long, plus the city had called this building to be a sanctuary but had not made any provisions to prepare it as such.

Zach was determined to make the most of it though.

Bentley the Maltese and his owner taking refuge in a school in Rockport, TX – Courtesy Adrees Latif/Reuters

When rescue crews finally arrived, they were surprised to find a skinny kid with long blonde hair leading the charge. Though he may not have looked like the leader they expected to find, it was clear he had the skills to do it.

By the time they arrived, Zach had over 150 people under his care. Buses were brought in to take some to more suited shelters. Supplies were also brought in and medical assistance was given to those that needed it most.

Thanks to Zach taking charge, no one got hurt and everyone survived. He broke down in tears when emergency crews arrived with supplies he was trying so hard to make due without.

“That guy is a hometown hero – he pulled it off. That’s my definition of a hero – when someone does something out of the ordinary to help other people,” said Carlos Alarcon of the state medical task force.