Receive up-to-the-minute news updates on the hottest topics with NewsHub. Install now.

Tropical Storm Harvey makes landfall in Louisiana, toddler found clinging to drowned mother

August 31, 2017 8:03 AM
192 0
Tropical Storm Harvey makes landfall in Louisiana, toddler found clinging to drowned mother

Houston Residents Form Human Chain to Save Man Trapped in SUV. Credit - Facebook/Stephanie N Edward Mata via Storyful1:39

MORE than 20 people have formed a human chain to stage an incredible rescue of an elderly man dragged away by floodwaters in Houston.

Local residents were driving cautiously along Houston’s flood-hit Interstate 10 when the dangerous waters pulled the man’s SUV off the road.

Incredible footage then show people joining hands and wading chest deep into the waters to save the man stuck in the cabin of his truck.

As the truck continues to get pulled away by the strength of the moving water, three men eventually manage to wrench open the driver’s door of the truck.

Maritza Castillo and her husband told CNN, how the man’s truck was stalled in traffic before it was pulled away by the floods.

Castillo said she and her husband and dozens of other drivers jumped out of their cars to help.

She said the man was taken to hospital after the rescue and reunited with his son.

Earlier, a CNN reporter abandoned his live cross to save the life of a man whose truck was sinking into a flooded ravine in Texas, as Harvey’s storm continues to hit.

CNN correspondent Drew Griffin and his crew rushed to rescue Jerry Sumrall of Winnie, Texas, who accidentally drove his truck into treacherous floodwaters in Beaumont, Texas.

“We just literally rescued this guy out,” said Griffin, who missed his live shot to help.

He was reporting from the Texas city east of Houston about the widespread flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Griffin alternated between telling “Newsroom” anchor John Berman what the situation looked like and ensuring the driver, Jerry Sumrall of Winnie, Texas, wasn’t hurt.

“Come on, sir, let’s get you up and into the dry,” Griffin said to Sumrall. “How are you doing? Lord have mercy, this is too much of a time for you to be interviewed right now. Are you doing all right? Your heart doing OK? You’re alive, sir. You’re alive.”

Griffin told Berman, “There was no time to call 911. He was floating down this ravine. That’s his truck right behind me.”

A SHIVERING three-year-old has been found clinging to the body of her drowned mother in a rain-swollen canal in southeast Texas after the woman tried to carry her child to safety from Harvey’s floods.

Beaumont police on Wednesday identified the mother as 41-year-old Colette Sulcer and said her daughter was being treated for hypothermia but doing well.

At least 24 people have been killed by Harvey since Friday, when it made landfall in Texas as a Category 4 hurricane. Harvey has since weakened to a tropical storm.

Captain Brad Penisson of the fire-rescue department in Beaumont said the Ms Sulcer’s vehicle got stuck on Tuesday afternoon in the flooded parking lot of an office park just off Interstate 10.

Squalls from Harvey were pounding Beaumont with up to 5cm of rain an hour at the time with 60km/h gusts, according to the National Weather Service.

Mr Penisson said a witness saw the woman take her daughter and try to walk to safety when the swift current of a flooded drainage canal next to the parking lot swept them both away.

The child was holding on to the floating woman when a police and fire-rescue team in a boat caught up to them almost a kilometre downstream, he said.

Rescuers pulled them into the boat just before they would have gone under a railroad trestle where the water was so high that the boat could not have followed.

First responders lifted the child from her mother’s body and tried to revive the woman, but she never regained consciousness.

The child was taken to a hospital in Beaumont and was expected to be released on Wednesday.

Officer Carol Riley said the girl was doing “very well” and was chatty.

“Everybody at the hospital and the officers just fell in love with her,” he said.

There are more than 32,000 people in shelters across Texas as Harvey continues drenching the state’s Gulf Coast.

Governor Greg Abbott says Texas also has an additional 30,000 beds “available as needed” for those who fled or are still fleeing floodwaters associated with the storm.

At a news conference in Austin, Mr Abbott said there are still about 107,000 power outages statewide, down from nearly 140,000 over the weekend.

He refused to speculate on the final costs of the storm in terms of property damage. But he suggested that the scope of destruction far exceeded that of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, meaning the financial impact will likely be far greater than both.

In Houston, city officials were preparing to temporarily house about 19,000 people, with thousands more expected to flee. More than 50,000 homes had suffered flood damage — but the tally is certain to rise.

A Texas highway was transformed into an ocean — complete with whitecaps and waves during Tropical Storm Harvey.

Some dramatic shots snapped on Tuesday show Interstate 10, located south of Beaumont, completely submerged in choppy waters.

The images were captured by Logan Wheat, who’d set off on a boat to round up cattle.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says the van was in about three metres of muddy water in Green’s Bayou in northeast Houston. He said the bodies of two adults could be seen in the front seat but that if the four children’s bodies are inside they are obscured because of the water conditions and the angle of the vehicle.

Authorities are trying to decide whether dive team members will retrieve the bodies or if it would be safer to pull the van from the treacherous water first.

Samuel Saldivar told deputies he was in his brother’s van rescuing his parents and relatives from their flooded home on Sunday when the van was tossed by a strong current into the bayou as it crossed a bridge. He escaped through a window but the others were trapped.

One of the victims, 16-year-old Devy Saldivar, wrote on Facebook hours before her death: “No sleep & anxiety, please let this pass sooner.”

Tropical Storm Harvey made an unwelcome return to a devastated region overnight — this time hitting Louisiana, a state that was ravaged by 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.

The relentless storm made landfall just west of the town of Cameron, according to the National Hurricane Centre, with “flooding rains” drenching parts of southeastern Texas and neighbouring southwestern Louisiana.

Harvey is expected to produce as much as 25 more centimetres of rain to an area about 128 kilometres east of the paralysed city of Houston as well as western Louisiana.

It is projected to weaken into a tropic depression by Wednesday night as it slogs inland to the northeast, the National Hurricane Centre said.

Arkansas, Tennessee and parts of Missouri are on alert for Harvey flooding in the next couple of days.

“Once we get this thing inland during the day, it’s the end of the beginning,” said National Hurricane Centre meteorologist Dennis Feltgen. “Texas is going to get a chance to finally dry out as this system pulls out.”

But Mr Feltgen cautioned: “We’re not done with this. There’s still an awful lot of real estate and a lot of people who are going to feel the impacts of the storm.”

Low-lying New Orleans was still bracing for the storm, which made landfall a day after the 12-year anniversary of Katrina. That hurricane ravaged the Crescent City — killing 1,00 people and causing an estimated $US108 billion ($135 billion) in damage.

The National Weather Service said a heavy rain threat remained over southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi and would continue through to Thursday.


Share in social networks:

Comments - 0