When people saw this photo from a nursing home in Dickinson,Texas they were rocked to the core. The image of these ladies, waist-deep in flood water and covered in blankets with their belongings floating around them is shocking. How could this be happening?! Some didn’t even think that the picture was real.
The picture was posted, went viral and thanks to the power of social media, the group was evacuated not long after the picture was taken. The picture was originally posted by Timothy McIntosh, who was in Florida at the time. His mother-in-law owns the La Vita Bella Nursing Home where this horrible incident occurred.
McIntosh updated everyone throughout the ordeal by tweeting. “Latest update on La Vita Bella home in Dickinson, TX.On ‘purple’ high priority list. Coast Guard on route right now for rescue.#HoustonFlood.”
By the early afternoon, McIntosh posted that all of the residents had been safely evacuated.
Harvey is now a tropical storm and is still wreaking havoc on the entire state. Water has poured into several hospitals in the area as well. Houston is doing it’s best to move patients to safer locations but because of flooding, this is not an easy task.
Patients are stranded, rescuers are not able to get to them and hospitals are running out of food. Daniel Cano is the medical director at Citizens Medical Center in Victoria, a city of about 68,000 people 125 miles southwest of Houston. According to Cano, the hospital lost power during the storm and therefore had no air conditioning and they concerned about the quality of their running water.
Jennifer Schulte, director of marketing for Citizens, said that some of the critically ill patients had been transferred before Harvey even made landfall. Because of such late notice, however, some were still left when the Hurricane hit and were forced to move during and after the storm.
Rivers are still rising and it doesn’t look like the conditions are going to improve anytime soon. Hundreds of thousands of people are still under evacuation orders and shelters are way overpopulated. Many are stuck and have nowhere to go.
During a news conference on Tuesday, Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city’s focus “will continue to be on rescue,” and not on damage assessment or recovery at this time. Local officials have reported 21 confirmed deaths as of this writing. All of them were flood-related.
So far the Houston Police Department has rescued more than 3,500 people from flooding. Samuel Peña, the city fire chief, said that his department had performed more than 400 rescues. There are many other volunteer groups, like the Cajun Navy, who have also rescued people using boats.
Much of Houston is underwater. On Tuesday, The National Weather Service said that Harvey has officially set a record for total rainfall from a single tropical cyclone in the continental United States. Two weather stations in Texas also reported total rainfall was over 48 inches.