Nursing home residents rescued after waiting in several feet of water

Posted at 3:43 PM, Aug 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-27 17:43:43-04

By Samira Said, Carma Hassan and Dakin Andone

DICKINSON, Texas — Residents of a nursing home in Dickinson, Texas, have been rescued after they waited patiently for help as floodwaters rose around them.

A dramatic photo circulating on the Internet showed the residents of the La Bella Vita nursing home sitting in several feet of water as they waited for help.

Kim McIntosh lives in Florida, but told CNN that her mother, who owns the nursing home just southeast of Houston, took the photo.

“My mom sent it to me at 9 this morning. She said it was a disaster,” McIntosh said Sunday. “They [were] waiting for helicopters or the National Guard.”

“Most of these people are in wheelchairs and [on] oxygen,” she said.

The Galveston Office of Emergency Management confirmed Sunday afternoon that it had rescued the residents from the facility.

“They were up to their waist” in water, said Ken Clark, a Galveston County commissioner.

McIntosh said that when she spoke to her mother over the last couple days, she told McIntosh that the nursing home was not told to evacuate. Instead, they were instructed to stay in place and have a disaster plan.

Between 20 to 25 people were rescued from the nursing home Sunday afternoon, Clark said.

First-responders working as the Houston area copes with catastrophic flooding are facing big challenges in both the high water levels and a lack of resources, like equipment and personnel, he added.

“We have complete sections of freeways that were closed and intersections that are closed,” Clark said. And it’s still raining.

He told CNN the county has received more than 1,000 requests for evacuation and rescue.