The remarkable story behind this Harvey jet ski rescue

Story highlights

  • The Spencers called their local Chick-fil-A for help
  • The manager recognized the regulars, and helped set up a rescue party

(CNN)J.C. and Karen Spencer call in their breakfast order to their local Houston Chick-fil-A every day.

On Monday morning, they had a slightly different request: Instead of the usual, they asked for a boat to rescue them from their flooded home.
It was by mere coincidence that the Spencers even got someone on the line. The restaurant was closed because of Hurricane Harvey.
    The manager, Jeffrey Urban, just happened to be there checking on everything. The phone was ringing off the hook, but Urban wasn't planning on taking any calls.
    Then, he noticed the Spencers' familiar number on the caller ID.
    He answered, thinking J.C. Spencer was just calling in for his daily grilled burrito with extra eggs, not knowing the store was closed.
    It was J.C., but he didn't want breakfast. His house was gone, he said; he needed help.
    "He was saying he was trying to reach out to people, and he couldn't get any response from 911," Urban told HLN on Thursday. "So he called Chick-fil-A to see if we could help him out. And it was such a blessing that, in that exact moment, I was there to answer the phone and get him help."
    Urban got the couple's address and called up the restaurant owner and HR director Cindy Smith to see what could be done.
    Smith's husband had a boat. So he and a few neighbors headed out to the Spencers' house with a boat and a jet ski in tow.
    It is a deeply unenviable situation, to have to be rescued from a house, a neighborhood, a city underwater.
    But the image of Karen Spencer sitting comfortably atop a jet ski is unforgettable -- a little humor and a lot of kindness in the face of tragedy.
    And by the way, Urban says, J.C. Spencer called the Chick-fil-A again on Wednesday, just two days after the dramatic rescue.
    This time though, he really did just want his breakfast burrito.