Coast Guard saves thousands stranded by Harvey floods
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued more than 4,200 people and more than 100 pets who were trapped by rising floodwaters in the Houston-Galveston area of Texas since Hurricane Harvey came ashore over the weekend.
Coast Guard crews are flying seven MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters and 14 MH-65 Dolphin helicopters in around-the-clock rescue operations in Houston. They have lifted people to safety from rooftops, flooded streets, and elsewhere.
"We have pulled assets and resources from across the country to create a sustainable force," Vice Adm. Karl Schultz said in a statement. "This is a united effort that is still in the early stages and we are focused on the safety of those in the affected area and saving lives."
Crews have also deployed on small boats, called punts, into flooded neighborhoods to get residents to safety.
The Coast Guard, which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has almost 2,000 personnel working the rescue operations. Other Homeland Security teams, including helicopter crews from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and FEMA-trained urban search and rescue task forces, have responded to help victims of the devastation.
One urban task force is from New York City. It is made up of NYPD officers, FDNY firefighters and medics, and Emergency Department workers.
Federal and local agencies have rescued more than 13,000 people in the Houston area.