Unprecedented. Catastrophic. Devastating. Historic. These are some of the words that are in reports today. These are the words that local Texas officials are using to describe the conditions that have been brought upon their state by what was Hurricane and is now Tropical Storm Harvey.
As Tropical Storm Harvey continues to dump rain on Southeast Texas, people in flooded areas are stranded in their homes. Officials are encouraging those people to stay put and not to try and venture out if they are in a safe location as flood waters are highly dangerous.
From 10 pm on Saturday to 1 pm on Sunday the 911 department in Houston received over 56,000 calls from residents seeking rescue. On a normal day of operation they receive around 8,000. Local officials are asking people not to call 911 unless it is an absolute life-threatening situation.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott praised the first responders saying they were doing a “tremendous” job getting people to safety. “Our top priority is to protect life.” He said.
Hundreds of rescues have been seen in broadcasts from on-site reporters from all networks. Many from local citizens volunteering their own resources in the form of large vehicles and boats.
50 counties have been declared disaster areas with latest rainfall totals up to 27 inches in some areas. Forecasts show Tropical Storm Harvey going back out into the Gulf of Mexico, possibly gaining strength before making landfall again as a tropical storm and hitting the Houston area again adding more rain and flooding to the area.
3,000 state and National Guard troops have been activated as well as help from many local groups from Texas and surrounding states.
The Cajun Navy is reported to be en route from Louisiana to offer assistance.
Officials are vowing to continue search and rescue operations into the night and through the storm as safety allows.
Early Sunday the studios of the CBS affiliate KHOU 11 News in Houston began to flood. They were forced to the second floor of their building to continue their coverage and eventually had to evacuate their entire studio as water rushed in.
As they were evacuated one of their reporters, Brandi Smith, stayed on the air and assisted in a rescue of a man from a truck that was sinking in the flood waters below the bridge where she was reporting. In a video going viral Smith can be seen running alongside a Sheriff passing to inform them of the man who was in need of rescue. A boat was lowered and the truck driver was brought to safety.
KHOU 11 was off the air for several hours. The crew has since been relocated and is back on the air.
In another viral photo circulating social media we see a group of elderly people trapped in an assisted living facility in Dickinson, TX. Reports have since confirmed that these people were rescued and evacuated.
The convention center in downtown Houston has been opened as a shelter.
The Red Cross is making every effort to bring assistance and relief to the victims of Tropical Storm Harvey in Southeast Texas.
For more on this natural disaster tune into your local, or cable news stations and check back here at Caleb Graham TV for more.