New England Coast Guard talks about Harvey chopper rescues

CAPE COD (CNN) – When the floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey rose up in Beaumont, Texas, a coast guard crew from Cape Cod was there to help with rescues.

The New England team, traveling halfway across the country to jump into action. Some had experience with hurricane rescues, others had not but all were blown away by the devastation.

Life or death in the Houston flood zone. Daring Coast Guard crews hoisting hundreds from rising waters.

A Cape Cod based team is just back from Texas. In two days, they rescued more than one hundred people.

“A woman going into labor or a diabetic without meds or whatever it may be. So those were triaged and those were the ones we tried to focus on, but a lot of times we’d get to a place, folks would start coming out of their house knowing it was kind of now or never because we were there. At times we had 30-40 people standing under the helicopter,” said Commander Simon Greene.

At least one crew member had responded to Hurricane Katrina years back. He says this storm gave him flashbacks.

“Everyone in the aircraft was a little taken back exactly the extent of damage from the storm because we weren’t quite sure what to expect, and it was overwhelming for sure,” said co-pilot Joshua Rice.

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The crew’s rescue swimmer will never forget a desperate flood victim bringing a Tupperware container up to him. He thought it was luggage and started to tell her the chopper could not carry it.

“She was like, ‘my baby’s in there!’ The top was snapped down, so I didn’t know what she was talking about. I said what are you talking about so I opened it and there was a two year old holding an infant inside like not screaming or crying or anything just big eyes looking at me like ‘what’s up man” So that was like pretty incredible,” said Brendan Kiley, the rescue swimmer.

The water is receding in Beaumont, and power is mostly restored but amid the devastation, there’s still no clean drinking water. A boil-water advisory remains in effect, Harvey’s aftermath knocked the city’s entire water supply off-line last week.