Throughout the storms and flooding caused by Harvey, many Houston residents turned to one voice for answers: Jeff Linder.
Meteorologist for the Harris County Flood Control District, Linder delivered clear, reassuring, and composed updates as flooding reached unprecedented levels. He was on TV and Twitter both for nearly 24/7, guiding Houstonians as they decided whether to evacuate and how.
Now that the storms have passed, and as recovery begins, the people who relied on Linder for days want to pay him back. One viewer created a GoFundMe campaign to send Linder on a well-deserved vacation.
“His press conferences have been an invaluable, reassuring resource in what has literally been a natural disaster. Additionally, and I’m sure beyond the scope of his responsibilities, he has been constantly answering questions from worried citizens on Twitter,” campaign founder Blake Ford wrote on GoFundMe.
“He just looks like he knows his stuff; and gives off a frankly fantastic vibe. He had an answer ready for every question, every followup, and never once dodged a difficult question nor was he afraid to honestly inform the public of imminent trouble.”
“I do not know Jeff, but he seems like a swell fellow. I figure the least we can do is show our thanks and gratitude by getting Jeff a vacation once this is all over (after hurricane season of course.),” the GoFundMe says.
In one day, the GoFundMe far exceeded its $4,000 goal. As of Saturday afternoon, the campaign had raised $17,900.
As a meteorologist for Harris County, where most of Houston sits, Linder is a government employee. That means he can’t accept gifts worth over $100.
The meteorologist instead asked that the funds be donated to flood victims.
“I just feel like I was doing my job,” Linder told the Wall Street Journal. “I’m going to keep doing it.”