Hundreds Plucked From Catastrophic Floods as Texas Officials Plea for Harvey Aid: 'People Are in Need'
Trillions of gallons of water have paralyzed the nation's fourth-largest city.
Some 11 trillion gallons of water have fallen over the Houston area, paralyzing the nation's fourth-largest city and forcing officials in the Lone Star State to ask rescuers nationwide for immediate aid.
Hundreds of Texans have been rescued from atop their inundated homes, sunken cars and other islands of last resort in the inland sea created by biblical rain that began with Harvey's Gulf Coast landfall Friday.
With dire warnings that the rain will only continue, officials like U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee aren't mincing words.
"We have resilient people but people are in need," Lee told reporters from inside Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center, where displaced flood victims continue to arrive in droves.
Rep. Lee continued: "This center, we're very glad that it's open. George R. Brown Convention Center. People are coming in. I've walked through. People are wet. I can say with the resiliency of Houston and those who are dry, we need towels, we need food, for these people who are coming in. Many of these people, if I can use the terminology, have been plucked off bridges. So they're soaking wet. There are children here. There are babies in need of formula."
For many of those arriving to the convention centers, and to other safe havens in the region, survival came thanks only to the resiliency of which Lee spoke and to the tireless efforts of rescuers who have mobilized from states nationwide.
In Katy, Texas, an area traffic camera caught one of those rescues in action as a driver was pulled from a nearly submerged vehicle.
When a rescue boat approached the vehicle, the driver was able to climb in and escape.
Back in Houston proper, the Coast Guard's round-the-clock, concerted efforts to pull residents off roofs continue to save countless victims who have nowhere to go but up.
"It's all just materialistic stuff that's always kept in your mind and it's always going to be there so it's good, but it's just hard," said Tyler Robinson, who was among those rescued over the weekend.
Heartbreaking photos out of a Dickinson assisted living facility have gone viral before 18 elderly residents were rescued from waist-deep waters.
Even an area reporter became a hero when KHOU's Brandi Smith and photographer Mario Sandoval helped rescue a truck driver who was trapped in floodwaters in north Houston.
But with every rescue, another person is in need of shelter from a storm that meteorologists say is showing no signs of letting up for the next two days.
At the George R. Brown Convention Center, that means the spirit of cooperation must be honored above all else.
"It is very important that we continue the generosity, food, clothing, towels, all that is needed," Rep. Lee said. "I saw some of those who are coming in. They're exhausted. And some are coming in with children, babies, and they're simply exhausted.
"I want everybody to know, though, that they come in with a spirit of cooperation. There are no hostilities, no anger here. It's amazing, because they've been through a lot. And there are others who are waiting, and probably will have to wait through the night."
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