Emergency workers in storm-hit southeast Texas on Thursday staged dramatic rescues by air and water in towns that were until now cut off by raging floodwaters unleashed by monster storm Harvey, which finally started to move inland.
Nearly a week after the storm smashed into the US Gulf Coast as a Category Four hurricane, thousands of rescuers and civilians eager to help battled difficult conditions to reach victims of the unprecedented flooding.
“We felt we’d be alright. We were wrong,” said Lonnie Givens, who refused to evacuate their one-storey home in the town of Orange. Now, he and wife Missy have about four inches (10 centimeters) of water in the house and no power.
The story told by Givens held for many others in Texas towns inundated by days of torrential rains, with highways still submerged and homes destroyed.
A hospital in the hard-hit town of Beaumont was forced to evacuate its patients -- nearly 200 people -- when the town’s water supply went down.
Speaking from the coastal city of Corpus Christi US Vice President Mike Pence hailed rescuers and volunteers for their “compassion and concern.” “Every American should know that even in this difficult time and this disastrous storm, the very best are the people of Texas, and the very best are the people of America shining forth,” he said.