The United States military deployed helicopters and rescue crews to southeastern Texas on Wednesday for dramatic airborne rescues of flood victims who were plucked one by one and flown to safety.
The dramatic images show U.S. servicemen extricate residents of flood-ravaged Beaumont, Texas from their washed-out neighborhoods.
The U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 7 carried out its mission Wednesday, bringing people to safety.
The Coast Guard was also involved in the airborne rescue.
Two rescuers from U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 7 are lowered to a house after Tropical Storm Harvey flooded a neighborhood in Beaumont, Texas
A woman is rescued from Tropical Storm Harvey flood waters by a U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 7 crew in Beaumont
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Wednesday that 24,000 National Guard troops, including 10,000 from outside the state, were being deployed in Texas in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey, and that 33 counties were now covered under a federal disaster declaration.
‘We’ve added 14 counties,’ Abbott told a news conference in Austin, Texas.
‘By being included in this federal disaster declaration, individuals as well as local governments are going to be eligible for aid from FEMA,’ he said, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Coast Guard on Wednesday said the ports of Houston, Texas City, Galveston and Freeport have been reopened with restrictions on vessel traffic after they were closed due to storm Harvey.
A woman and baby are rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter after Tropical Storm Harvey flooded their neighborhood in Beaumont
A handout photo made available by the US Coast Guard shows a helicopter crew pull another flood victim to safety
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Wednesday that 24,000 National Guard troops, including 10,000 from outside the state, were being deployed in Texas in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey
However, the section of the upper Houston ship channel from Morgan’s Point inbound to the turning basin would remain closed until weather conditions improve, the Coast Guard said in a statement, adding that all vessel traffic is limited to daylight hours.
The Houston Ship Channel links the busiest U.S. petrochemical port to the Gulf of Mexico.
The restrictions would prevent vessels from moving to the upper ship channel, where five of the Houston-area oil refineries are located.
Also, only the smallest draft tankers would be allowed to travel to Texas City, where three refineries are located, since the Coast Guard has imposed restrictions on the size of vessels that would be allowed to navigate the waterways.
Tropical Storm Harvey further damaged the heart of the U.S. energy industry on Wednesday, churning into Louisiana after flooding the biggest U.S. refinery in Texas, forcing major pipelines to halt operations and threatening a supply squeeze for weeks.