Harvey Rescue Efforts Move To Southeast Texas Towns

Wednesday, August 30th 2017, 12:57 pm
By: News On 6

Harvey made landfall for the second time around 5 a.m. Wednesday, just west of Cameron, Louisiana, CBS News meteorologist David Parkinson reports. The storm now has winds of 45 mph and is gradually weakening.  

But Harvey created catastrophic conditions in southeast Texas as it moved away from Houston. The Harris County Sheriff's Office announced volunteers with boats should no longer come to Houston but should go to Port Arthur and Beaumont.

The situation in Port Arthur, 91 miles east of Houston, was dire early Wednesday, with homes expected to fill with rising floodwaters and residents unsure of how to get out of the city, reports CBS Beaumont, Texas affiliate KFDM-TV.

Heavy rain from Tropical Storm Harvey inundated the area with some 40 inches of rain Tuesday, the station says. The National Weather Service issued flash flood emergencies for parts of Southeast Texas, including Beaumont and Port Arthur. 

Beaumont has had four fatalities from the storms. 

Conditions were so bad that Motiva Enterprises began shutting its major refinery there due to flooding.

Jefferson County Sheriff Zena Stephens told KFDM county resources can't reach Port Arthur due to the flooding -- and some residents have gone into "survival mode."

Many residents were posting pleas for help on social media, and many KFDM viewers were calling the station pleading to be rescued.

Water rescue operations resumed at daybreak. An Army Blackhawk helicopter was at a park in Beaumont to pick up people who'd been rescued from floodwaters.

KFDM reports some people had to be rescued from trees after their car was swept away by the flood waters. They were in the trees for hours, the station said.

By Thursday morning, Harvey is expected to be downgraded to a tropical depression as it reaches Interstate 20 at the border between Louisiana and Mississippi.