More than 4,500 people and 113 pets stranded by Hurricane Harvey have been rescued by the U.S. special flood response teams this week, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) said.
The Coast Guard said in a statement issued on Thursday that it had deployed assets and resources from across the country to create a sustainable response force.
“Currently, there are 33 Coast Guard helicopters and nine Coast Guard Flood Punt Teams, with 12 shallow-draft vessels capable of operating in flooded urban areas, which helped in rescuing the 4,500 who were in peril.
“On Wednesday alone, Punt Teams took more than 940 people in the Houston, Texas area to safety,’’ it said.
SERVPRO a cleanup and restoration works franchiser in based in the U.S. and Canada had mobilised some 9,000 personnel from across the U.S. to respond to the aftermath of the tropical cyclone Harvey.
Bryan Stone, the company’s Director for Northwest Texas, East Texas, South Texas and Louisiana said that SERVPRO would mobilise or employ approximately 8,000 to 9,000 personnel throughout this event.
“Often, we are even able to utilise local residents who are unable to work due to the closing of their employer’s business,” Stone said.
“Over 250 SERVPRO franchises were currently responding to the emergencies in the area with an expectation of approximately 400 or more joining the effort in the days to come.
“Each franchise will bring their personnel, equipment and other necessary resources to handle their work loads.
“In addition, SERVPRO Industries is providing dozens of 18-wheelers of drying equipment, generators and other critical supplies to help with the cleanup,” Stone said.
He said that the company had to deal with all types of jobs when it came to an event like that of the Hurricane Harvey.
Stone said that many roadways in the affected areas were still flooded and areas were inaccessible.
Hurricane Harvey descended on Texas on Saturday and was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm by the U.S. National Hurricane Centre that same day.
The storm affected mainly south-eastern Texas, including the city of Houston, in addition to south-western Louisiana. Harvey is the largest storm to have hit the U.S. since the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina in 2005.