ROSENBERG, Tex. (KBTX) - The elite search and rescue teams Texas Task Force 1 and 2 are continuing their rescue efforts outside of Houston. After days of being trapped by flood waters, many who stayed behind are looking to get out.
A member of Texas Task Force 2 looks across a flood roadway at the people standing on the new shoreline.
KBTX is embedded with the task force based out of Rosenberg, Texas. The crews have been running non-stop since Hurricane Harvey. The flood waters here are receding, but there are still people stranded and in need of help.
In the city of Richmond, the Brazos River is over it’s banks and spreading through town. Many of the roads are flooded out, making it nearly impossible to drive north to south.
Members of Texas Task Force 2 (TX-TF2)respond to a call in the Kingdom Heights neighborhood. A woman, nine months pregnant, needs to be evacuated. The only problem? The neighborhood is surrounded by water ten feet deep in some places.
It’s just a few miles away, but the team can’t take a direct route. The road leading to the neighborhood is flooded. Task force members know that any amount of water is dangerous, especially during a flood. They’ve trained for calls like this.
"We train quarterly and we do boat operations.We try to do boat operations two of those four quarters, said Shannon Whitaker, program manager with TX-TF2.
Even during emergencies, nothing the task force does is rushed. Safety is paramount, both for the rescue crew and for those being rescued. The water surrounding the neighborhood covers a road, a ditch, possibly a fence. None of that can be seen from the surface.
"I've been in a boat before, but never in a smaller boat like this," said the pregnant woman. She's got two of her sons next to her in the middle of the flat-bottom boat. This is the first time the boys had been in a boat.
It won't be the last boat ride for the rescue crew. As Fort Bend County dries out, attention turns south. As Houston drains, the rivers and creeks swell closer to the coast. More calls will come in.
"[I] hope they're alright. If they're in there, I hope we can get them out. We want to get them out. That's what we do," Whitaker said.
It wasn't a long ride for the expecting mother and her family, but one that brings peace of mind back on dry land.