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Texas man reunites with father on live TV after losing home to Harvey

A Texas man who said he lost his home from Hurricane Harvey was reunited with his father on a live CNN broadcast on Monday.

Aaron Mitchell, an Aransas Pass resident, spoke to CNN about how he walked 12 miles in the cold and in the dark in a failed effort to get to his father.

“There’s been no cell service since Thursday, Friday,” he told CNN. “I haven’t gotten a hold of anybody.”

A visibly-shaken Mitchell then pleads to his parents, telling them that if they’re watching, he’s OK. “My mom’s in Oklahoma, there’s no telling where my dad’s at. I’m in Rockport, waiting for you.”

But thanks to a satellite phone provided by CNN, Mitchell was able to reconnect to his father. The broadcast then showed Mitchell talking on the phone with his father, telling him between sobs that he loves him and that he will take a bus to come meet him in Austin.

Mitchell later told the CNN reporter that the storm felt like “The Wizard of Oz.” “I was scared. I’ve seen a lot of things, but that terrified me.”

Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane Friday night in Rockport but is now classified as a tropical storm. The confirmed death toll from the hurricane climbed to 21 after a woman’s body was discovered afloat in Beaumont.

The bodies of six family members, including four children, were pulled from a van that had been swept off a Houston bridge into a bayou, and authorities were investigating 17 more deaths to determine whether they were storm-related.

Nevertheless, many thousands of homes in and around the nation’s fourth-largest city still were under water from the record-breaking deluge of 4 feet of rain and could stay that way for days or weeks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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