911 Inundated: Hurricane Harvey Rescue Operations

Local officials dealing with Hurricane Harvey emergency management requested the public’s help with rescue operations as 911 systems became inundated.


Overnight the rains from Hurricane Harvey, which became a category 4 hurricane as it made landfall, began to subside, and in some areas of Harris County, Texas, flood waters are beginning too also. But in other areas, particularly neighborhoods near two reservoirs operated by the Army Corps of Engineers, subdivisions are still being evacuated, according to coordinated updates from various officials.

Instead of evacuation, the county and city of Houston prepared ahead of the storm to coordinate rescue operations and sheltering efforts, but its 911 system became over-inundated with calls as the waters rose to life threatening levels by Sunday.

Hurricane Harvey Rescue Operations Required the Public’s Help

Coordinated efforts organized under the Harris County Fire Marshall’s Office reported:

ReadyHarris, the Harris County, Texas, Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency organized under County Judge Ed Emmett, was asking the public in possession of and certified to use boats and high water vehicles to assist first responders with rescues on Sunday.

The 911 call centers were flooded with calls, and state support had been unable to get to the region until Monday, and made the request to get more people rescued during daylight hours.

“Neighbors help neighbors,” said Emmett in the Sunday press conference, as he gave out a telephone number for rescuers with groups of people needing shelter to call.

Andrea Fox is Editor of Gov1.com and Senior Editor at Lexipol. She is based in Massachusetts.