Soldiers, police, helicopters and special high-speed trucks Thursday rescued thousands of Texas residents stranded by the storm-ravaged Harvey flood waters that killed at least 37 people as they stormed the Gulf Coast this week.
In Beaumont, Texas, doctors and nurses evacuated about 190 people from a hospital that had to stop operations after the city’s water services were cut off from some 120,000 people due to the storm. Harvey arrived on land at the weekend and the strongest hurricane struck the state in half a century.
“We do not have any water, the water has been cut, we can not do dialysis,” said Devan Campbell, a hospital guard while standing outside during the evacuation of about 190 patients.
According to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Secretary Ellen Duck, some 779,000 residents of the state ordered their homes to be vacated while another 980,000 fled on their own, amid concerns that flooding of the reservoirs and rivers would cause new floods as Harvey, whose strength ebbed into a tropical depression, headed inland.
In Houston, where the storm has paralyzed life this week, firefighters have carried out house searches to rescue stranded and exhumed bodies.
The floods also caused a series of explosions at a chemical plant in northeastern Houston and officials warned more explosions were likely.
Orange County, bordering the Beaumont area, about 80 km east of Houston, on Thursday ordered the rest of the population to evacuate the area, with the Nitzs River expected to flow on Friday.
Moody’s Analytics estimated the economic losses from the storm in southeast Texas at between $ 51 billion and $ 75 billion to be one of the most costly storms in US history.
Mike Pence, vice president and a number of ministers visited Corpus Christi to meet residents affected by the storm.
We are here today and we will be here tomorrow and we will stay here every day until this city, this state and this region are rebuilt to become better than before, “he told a crowd outside the Rockport Church, which was hit by the storm.
He said President Donald Trump would visit the region again on Saturday.