Boat owners asked to help in Houston rescues

Published: Aug. 27, 2017 at 3:36 PM EDT
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A Harris County official is asking members of the public who have a boat or a high water vehicle to help with efforts to rescue Houston residents whose homes have flooded in the torrential rains brought by Tropical Storm Harvey.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said at a news conference Sunday that the additional boats and vehicles that Texas is sending to the Houston area are not able to get to the area due to flooded roadways.

He adds that vehicles the state previously sent are already being used to help rescue individuals.

Emmett, who oversees government operations in Harris County, where Houston is located, says, "We desperately need boats and high water vehicles ... We can't wait for assets to come from outside."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says the state has now activated 3,000 National Guard and State Guard members as a result of severe damage and flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Along with the guard, he says 500 vehicles and 14 aircraft have been put into service.

Abbott said there are no 250 highway closures around Texas.

He spoke at a news conference at the state emergency response center in Austin.

President Donald Trump met by teleconference Sunday with top administration officials as rescue workers continue to respond to rising flood waters from Hurricane Harvey.

The White House says Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, members of Trump's Cabinet and other senior officials discussed federal support for response and recovery efforts.

The White House says Trump stressed his expectation that "all departments and agencies stay fully committed to supporting the governors of Texas and Louisiana" and that his "number one priority of saving lives."

Rising floodwaters from Harvey have forced thousands of people to rooftops or higher ground in Houston, overwhelming rescuers.

Trump announced Sunday he's planning a trip to Texas soon