Floodwaters in Texas continue to rise, creating conditions so severe that people trapped in their homes had no chance of being rescued overnight.
“There’s nothing we can do,” Jefferson County Sheriff Zena Stephens told local news channel KDFM. “We can’t take the boats out right now. The water is rising and it’s coming there and [there’s] no way to get to them.”
People began begging on social media to be rescued. One woman made her first plea on Twitter at 1 a.m. local time:
Lord please! If you have a boat please come get me & my family I'm trying to stay calm but the water is coming in at a fast rate— J. (@haleeyjay_) August 30, 2017
She tweeted again about three hours later, having been told that rescues wouldn’t resume until daylight. “Water is now waist level & I still have not found any help this is crazy,” she wrote. “My phone is on 9% I’m 35 Wks pregnant ! Please keep calling for me water is waist deep.”
Many others tweeted out addresses of friends and loved ones:
my great grandparents are 90+.. very fragile, they need to be rescued !! 3580 lake Arthur drive in port Arthur off of jimmy Johnson PLZ RT️— Mackenzie Shugart (@mackenzieshug) August 30, 2017
please help my friend is stuck in her home with a family of 10. water is rising— Eduardo Reyes (@e_reyes7) August 30, 2017
4407 Jasonwood cd port Arthur, tx 77642
800 10th st.Port Arthur tx !! Please somebody please send help my 1 year old nephew is in there along with the rest of my family PLEASE HELP— June26 (@_noonieee) August 30, 2017
water is now rising at our home. 4248 vassar st port arthur tx! if anyone knows of— 11/7 (@Teeeeethegee) August 30, 2017
any assistance please send them we have a 4month old baby
The Jefferson County emergency management team said it had to wait until daylight to resume rescues.
Even people who were removed from their homes continued to fight the elements. Photos on Twitter show floodwaters invading Port Arthur’s Bob Bower Civic Center, where hundreds of evacuees were seeking shelter. People were eventually moved on Wednesday to the Carl A. Parker Multipurpose Center, even though police said the facility contained zero supplies.
People in Port Arthur are resting in their shelter beds at the Bob Bower Civic Center— Juan Rodríguez (@_JuanRodriguez_) August 30, 2017
Flood Waters nearly reach those sleeping pic.twitter.com/djL3imXoYy
Marcus McLellan, a public information officer for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, told HuffPost that rescue operations were underway Wednesday morning.
Police weren’t able to reach people trapped in their homes because of the rising waters, but law enforcement officials were coordinating with volunteers to locate and transport people to shelter.
“We’re using the volunteers and their boats to get to those individuals,” McLellan said. “To do this on our own, we would have to have a fleet of several hundred boats. ... That’s just not feasible for a city or county to constantly have.”
McLellan said hundreds of people in the county have been rescued from their flooded homes in the last couple of days, thanks in large part to the “very, very valuable” efforts of the volunteers.
“There are just so many people, hundreds up into the thousands, that need assistance,” he said. “No matter how many boats we have, it’s going to take some time.”
This article has been updated with comments from McLellan.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.