People are turning to social media to help find family members and loved ones displaced by Hurricane Harvey, with thousands posting photos and pleas for help.
Pictures and pleas for dozens of toddlers, brothers and grandfathers are circulating on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
No official number of the unaccounted-for has been released as the storm continues to pound Texas and Louisiana for a fifth straight day. Authorities say the 18 deaths confirmed so far could surge in the days to come.
The posts appeared to be getting results, though not always good news.
“Pleaseeeee,” read an Instagram posting seeking 8-month-old Paige Booth, showing the baby sitting on a couch with a pacifier.
Her mother and grandmother were evacuating from their Houston home Monday and holding her above their heads as the water rose to their chests and a current pushed them along.
“It was raining bad, and the water was high,” the mother, Bajauh Henix, said.
They handed the baby off to a police officer on a personal watercraft, who took the infant to higher ground and handed her to a family in a black pick-up truck, said Kennesha Grand, the girl’s grandmother. But when Grand and Henix reached the area where the child was supposed to be, no one there knew her whereabouts.
Once they reached a shelter, they posted photos of the baby on Instagram and elsewhere. “Everyone started posting, and it started spreading,” Grand said.
After nearly four hours, the mother got a phone call from a family. They had Paige, who was returned by a police officer, completely unfazed by the ordeal.
“She was sweet. She was dry. She was fed,” Grand said. “She didn’t miss us.”
Another search that took hold on social media lasted far longer — and lacked the happy ending.
Ruben Jordan, 58, a former football and track coach from a Houston-area high school, had been sought since he disappeared on Saturday night.
“Please help,” the…