Houston Police Chief: 2,000 People Rescued from Flood Waters

HOUSTON - City officials provided updates on rescue operations in the Houston area as a result of Tropical Storm Harvey during a press conference on Monday morning.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says the city has 185 critical rescue requests still pending. He says the goal is to rescue those people by the end of the day.

He says there has been more than 5,600 calls for 911 services since 6 p.m. on Friday, and they have completed 2,000 rescues. 

Rescue crews can't use boats at night because they don't have lights, but he says they are currently on the water now. 

Acevedo says police made four arrests for looting. He says it is common for looters from other regions to move in during situations like this because police are often busy with rescues, but he says more officers from the Texas area will be coming in to help. 

There have also been a number of cars towed throughout the city, he says to call (713) 308-8580 to find your car. 

According to HFD Chief Samuel Peña, the fire department has received over 5,500 calls for service which are mostly water-related. There have been over 290 water rescues since midnight. 

Peña stressed that is important not be on the road unless you have to be. Additionally, he says if you can't get in touch with 911 then to try calling 311. It is important that you stay on the line so that dispatchers don't have to call you back. The fire department is expecting another 350 personnel in the next 48 hours to help with rescues. 

Mayor Sylvester Turner said the goal at this point is rescue.

"This is a dynamic situation," said Turner. "Things could change by the hour, they could change by the day."

He said mayors from cities across the country are sending high water rescue equipment and clothes to help people get out of harms way. 

As of Monday morning, the mayor said about 5,500 people were in all of Houston's shelters, but he expects that number to rise exponentially. There is a significant need for volunteers. 

Turner continues to stand by the decision not to evacuate the city because Houston was not in the direct path of hurricane. He also says it would be difficult to organize an evacuation of 6.5 million people. 

Near the end of the conference, the mayor was asked about undocumented immigrants who might not call 911 for help in fear of deportation. 

He responded by saying, "If you're in a stressful situation, I don't care who you are, I don't care what your religion is, I don't care what your language is, I will represent them myself." 

For the latest forecast information, check here.

For high water locations, check here.

For Houston-area shelters, check here.

For the latest updates, check here. 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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