In Texas the rain came, and it didn’t stop.
When the sun rose on the morning of August 27, the area around Houston, the country’s fourth largest city, was covered in water following floods of biblical proportions. In some areas, the total rainfall from Harvey was close to 52 inches. To make matters worse, no evacuation order had been given. Residents suddenly found themselves trapped on rooftops and wading through flooded streets.
If the waters brought hell, the air brought salvation in the form of Staff Sgt. Joseph Baker (right), of the 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, Texas Army National Guard. The National Guard scoured for survivors over miles of flooded area north of Beaumont, Texas; it was part of a swath of towns—a combined area larger than the state of Delaware—that was inundated with more than 3 feet of rainfall.
Tick marks on helicopter doors indicated the number of people pulled from the floodwaters (59 marks on one helicopter). In one day alone, the Coast Guard saved over 3,000 people. But there was still work to be done.