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1,700 Rescued from Imelda's Floodwaters After 3 Feet of Rain: 'It's Been Relentless'

09-20-2019
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Members of a Texas National Guard ground transportation platoon perform a rescue in Beaumont, Texas, in the flood waters of Tropical Depression Imelda, Sept. 19, 2019. (Texas National Guard via AP)
Members of a Texas National Guard ground transportation platoon perform a rescue in Beaumont, Texas, in the flood waters of Tropical Depression Imelda, Sept. 19, 2019. (Texas National Guard via AP)

Millions of people along the Gulf Coast in Texas and Louisiana are waking up to a nightmare. Two people are dead and thousands of others are thankful to be alive after floodwaters turned interstates and neighborhoods into rivers.

Thursday afternoon Tina and Robert Horne headed to their Wal-Mart for groceries in Splendora, Texas. Nine hours later they were rescued from their flooded car.

"I hit that water... poof! That was it. Car was floating," recalled Robert, wet and exhausted from the ordeal.

"I'm like standing sideways so the current wouldn't knock me forwards," explained a frazzled Tina.

Flooding is being blamed for the deaths of two men. A 19-year-old drowned and was electrocuted while trying to save his horse. A second man in his 40's or 50's drowned while attempting to drive through eight feet of water.

"We always tell people, turn around, don't drown. In this case, it seems he didn't heed that warning and continued to drive through it," says Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. 

Remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda dumped more than 40 inches of water on Jefferson County in just 72 hours, and in Harris County emergency officials have rescued at least 1,700 from high water.

BELOW: CBN News Contributing Correspondent Chuck Holton has sent in this video from his friend Kenny Vaughn in Beaumont, Texas, who's rescuing people from the flooding with this boat. Click the player to watch. 

"Everybody was like, get out of the car, get out of the car. It's about to get higher, you can't do anything about it," recalls one man rescued from his flooded vehicle.

In Beaumont, the Coast Guard plucked victims from water and flew them to safety. 

It's a devastating blow for some families dealing with as much as five feet of water in their homes just two years after recovering from Hurricane Harvey's destruction.

In some neighborhoods, people had to wade through chest-high water to reach safety.

"It's been relentless. We just can't escape. It's like we're on an island here," said one victim.

In the Houston region, some five million residents may not see high waters recede until well into the weekend marking the beginning of another long road to recovery.

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