Late summer had felt apocalyptic.

Raging wildfires in the Pacific Northwest, a deadly earthquake in Mexico, catastrophic floods in South Asia — and hurricanes with innocuous names lashing Texas, the Caribbean, and Florida.

But in the face of all of this destruction and despair there were flashes of hope and bravery. Scenes of rescuers hard at work: pulling flood victims into boats and helicopters, providing medical treatment, and bringing supplies to emergency shelters.

KQED’s Alex Emslie embedded with rescuers from California as they searched flooded areas in Texas after Hurricane Harvey. He met men and women who dropped everything to head across the country and into the flood.

Into the Flood 28 September,2017Alex Emslie


Alex Emslie

Alex Emslie is a criminal justice reporter at KQED. He covers policing policy, crime and the courts.

He left Colorado and a career as a carpenter in 2008 to study journalism at City College of San Francisco. He then graduated from San Francisco State University’s journalism program with a minor in criminal justice studies. Prior to joining KQED in 2013, Alex freelanced for various news outlets including the Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner and Bay Guardian.

Alex is proud of his work at KQED on a spike in fatal officer-involved shootings in Vallejo, which uncovered that a single officer shot and killed three suspects over the course of five months. Alex’s work with a team at KQED on police encounters with people in psychiatric crisis was cited in amicus briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court. He received the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists Best Scoop award in 2015 for exposing a series of bigoted text messages swapped by San Francisco police officers. He was honored with 2010 San Francisco Peninsula Press Club and California Newspaper Publishers Association awards for breaking news reporting on the trial following the shooting of Oscar Grant. Email: Twitter: @SFNewsReporter.

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