A total of 24,000 National Guard troops will be deployed in Texas to assist with the emergency, rescue and relief efforts of Tropical Storm Harvey, Governor Greg Abbott said today.
The governor explained in a press conference that in the next few hours the number of troops of the National Guard (part of the reserve components of the Armed Forces) in the southern state, which until this morning was 12,000.
The deployment of more National Guard forces is aimed at helping rescue teams, who have been overcome by the severity of the floods caused by Cyclone Harvey, especially in the city of Houston, which has left at least one Twenty deaths and tens of thousands of displaced.
Thus, 10,000 other statesmen and 2,000 state guards who were stationed in other countries will arrive in the coming hours to assist in the search and rescue of victims in southeastern Texas, especially in the city of Houston.
“It is the largest deployment in Texas history of a natural disaster and surely the number will continue to grow in the coming days,” he said.
Harvey, despite having become a tropical storm after arriving as a category 4 hurricane (a maximum of 5), continues to pour heavy rains on the central Texas coast, which are causing “catastrophic floods.”
The 12,000 National Guard members deployed through Wednesday are scattered across 24 counties in southeastern Texas, helping search, rescue, and provide water, food and electricity to homeless people.
These forces, according to Abbott, have a total of 600 vehicles of land, a hundred helicopters and more than 300 boats to reach the affected areas, a fleet to which will be added 200 land vehicles and 200 more ships of the Department of Defense Of the USA.
The governor recalled that the maximum disaster level has been declared in 11 counties in Texas that allows both public and individual authorities to seek help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
This body, which has received some 210,000 requests for individual assistance so far, has approved more than $ 37 million in aid.
Abbott warned that steady rains in southeastern Texas and the Louisiana border will continue to cause “catastrophic” floods, urging residents to follow the orders of local authorities.
He also urged people in those areas not to drive through flooded areas “under any circumstances”, because the majority of confirmed deaths so far were for handling hazardous areas.
Although the governor did not confirm data on fatalities, different US media point to more than twenty people lost their lives because of Harvey, who landed in Rockport (Texas) last Friday at 215 kilometers per hour and Which is now causing “historic” flooding.
In fact, Houston received in three days the total amount of water it gets over a year.