Harvey’s floodwaters run thick with petrochemicals in some communities, the result of unbridled industry, Wild West regulations and environmental racism.

Ramit Plushnick-Masti woke just after 4:30 a.m. Sunday to find water seeping into the bathroom. She ran to the sunroom that faces her backyard and discovered water already 5 inches deep. Out front, a brown river sloshed from the street to her doorstep.

She roused her three young sons and began frantically moving rugs, photo albums and electronics to dry surfaces. At 7:30 a.m., she called 911. But hours later, no one came.

“They were backed up pretty badly,” Plushnick-Masti, 42, a communications director at the Houston Forensic Science Center, told HuffPost by phone later that evening. “But by about 10, it was clear that it was going to be catastrophic.”

She began posting on Facebook and texting friends, and found out her local rabbi was sending a boat around to pick up stranded people in need of rescue. The family of five threw laptops, cellphones, chargers, a few pairs of pants and some T-shirts into garbage bags and waited, perched on the kitchen counter, water lapping just inches below.

When the motorboat arrived to pick them up, the water was so high it overturned the family’s washing machine and stand-up freezer. Plushnick-Masti, who is about 5 feet tall, had to swim to reach rescuers.

“It was cold, it was nasty, it was brown,” Plushnick-Masti said from a makeshift shelter a church, where the electricity was out. “The water was so powerful.”

Hurricane Harvey, the strongest storm to make landfall in the United States in nearly a decade, brought on Plushnick-Masti’s fourth flood since moving to Houston in 2010 ― and the second one that’s caused damage to her home. But it’s the first time she’s been forced to flee by boat. She lives in Meyerland, southwest of the city’s center. The neighborhood is predominantly middle class, and roughly two-thirds of the population is white, according to census data.