From mothers and infants being carried through floodwaters, to people being rescued from flooded cars, the photos coming out of Texas following Hurricane Harvey are truly heart-wrenching. All of the images show the devastating force that these storms can have, but one photo of a flooded Texas nursing home after Hurricane Harvey encapsulates the terror of being trapped in the center of this terrifying storm.
The photo was taken from inside Texas' La Vita Bella nursing home on Sunday morning. The Dickinson, Texas nursing home was inundated with feet of water, and elderly women can be seen sitting in reclining chairs, and even in wheelchairs, with water up to their chests. It's a terrifying situation to imagine yourself in, especially considering the limited mobility that these residents most likely have.
Timothy McIntosh, whose mother-in-law owns the nursing home, tweeted the photo. His message on social media was a desperate plea for help for the residents, who were in need of imminent rescue if they were to keep their heads above water. He tweeted, "Need help asap emergency services please RETWEET."
Thankfully, his strategy was successful. After his tweet attracted the attention of thousands on social media, and emergency services were alerted to the dire situation at La Vita Bella nursing home.
McIntosh kept Twitter abreast of the updates in the rescue operations, later tweeting that the nursing home was on the "'purple' high priority list," and "Coast Guard on route right now for rescue."
According to ABC News, Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark said that about 20-25 residents of the nursing home were safely evacuated on Sunday. David Popoff, the city’s emergency management coordinator, reportedly told the Galveston County Daily News they were rescued by helicopter.
McIntosh expressed his gratitude on Twitter after the rescue, tweeting, “RESCUED!! Thank you to the National Guard & the Galveston City Emergency crew for our rescue; @GalvestonOEM #houstonflood @NationalGuard." He told ABC News that he believes the rescue wouldn't have been executed as quickly if it wasn't for the power of social media.
McIntosh's use of Twitter was one of the many ways that Houston and Texas residents used quick thinking to aid in the rescue of people stranded and trapped by the floodwaters. While this storm has been devastating to so many who live in its path, the stories of bravery and heroism coming out of Texas are heart-warming, given the dire circumstances these people are in.
While coverage of this storm and its aftermath is widespread, it's photos like these that give people a real idea of how terrifying being in the path of a hurricane can be.