Hurricane Harvey made landfall over a week ago along the Texas coast and dropped a record amount of rain across Southern Texas (51.88 inches in Cedar Bayou). Local, regional, state and federal response teams have been stretched thin over the past week vast areas of Texas were flooded forcing the evacuation and rescue of tens of thousands of residents. Local officials put out a call for civilians with boats able to help with response and rescue efforts as the waters first started to rise. Civilians from as far away as New Orleans responded as the “Cajun Navy” activated its network of volunteers.
So far the death toll stands at 50 people, however, it is expected to rise in the coming weeks as flooding subsides and flooded properties are searched. Yesterday the Houston USCG Station reported that while they are still responding to rescue calls in the Houston and surrounding areas. However, as the water as started to recede in Houston, so has the call volume for rescues.
Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner, has strongly urged Houston residents to continue to evacuate and not return home at this time as flood waters will likely rise in many areas as the reservoirs surrounding Houston will continue to require draining over the coming weeks.
Yesterday, the Huffington Post reported on USCG helicopter pilot, Jason Brownlee, who has surpassed the number of rescues of his entire career in the past week of rescuing Harvey victims, over twenty people in just a few days. The USCG continues to rescue missions as well as fly over missions, looking for people in need of help that may not be able to call for it on their own.
As floodwaters recede along the gulf coast, new fears are emerging of another potential risk to the region as Hurricane Irma picks up water and power in the Atlantic, fluctuating between a Category 3 and a Category 4 hurricane. Irma is on course to potentially make land fall in the Caribbean Sea sometime this next week.
See the latest photos from the USCG below: