11 People Plucked From 12-Foot Floodwaters, Some Good News Among Flood Devastation

Melanie Sun
By Melanie Sun
August 29, 2017US News
11 People Plucked From 12-Foot Floodwaters, Some Good News Among Flood Devastation
KPRC live coverage of Cypress rescue Tuesday morning, Aug. 29. (Screenshot via KPRC)

All 11 people thrust into deep and dangerous floodwaters after their rescue boat capsized Tuesday morning near Cypress in northwest Harris County are back on dry land, reported local media.

The first rescue boat, belonging to a good Samaritan, capsized around 4 a.m. near Highway 209 and Fry Road, reported Click2Houston.

A spokesman for the Cypress-Fairbanks Volunteer Fire Department said that its volunteers were initially able to pull nine of the 11 people from the boat to safety without too much trouble, but two were swept away into the treeline about 500 yards back in deep water before rescuers could get to them.

The two, believed to be teenage boys, were seen clinging to a tree by onlookers at the rescue site and by a Department of Public Safety helicopter that was circling overhead.

A KPRC field reporter told viewers during the live coverage of the rescue, “It’s a fast current.” The reporter continued, “You can see Coast Guard circling, trying to get a good spot, trying to get those two teenage boys out.”

The water that the boys were trapped by was around 12 feet deep. They were clinging to the trees that were about 20-30 feet tall.

The Cypress-Fairbanks Volunteer Fire Department and the National Guard were eventually able to rescue the two boys to safety.

Good Samaritans have been attempting to help people with their own boats, at times, risking their lives in the treacherous floodwaters.

The KPRC reporter described the conditions many were facing, “And even taking boats out is dangerous, because you just don’t know what’s out there. This is not conducive to having a boat out on the water, there’s no controlled environment out there.”

David Padovan, a Cypress-Fairbanks Volunteer Fire Department spokesman warned, “It doesn’t take a lot of water to sweep you off your feet and send you downstream. Same thing with a boat. Again, if you don’t have the proper equipment, if you don’t have that swift water rescue boat or training, these are not the conditions for you to be in.”

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