Photos: Guardsmen, Coasties Brave Hurricane Harvey As Streets Become Violent Waterways

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U.S. Army photo by Lt. Zachary West

Hurricane Harvey slammed Texas this weekend, dumping more than 20 inches of rain in some areas, collapsing parts of buildings, and turning streets into raging rivers, and it shows no signs of letting up, reports the New York Times.


Rains are expected to continue for an additional two or three days, dumping as much as 15 to 25 more inches of water over parts of Southeast Texas, with some areas expected to get as much as 50 inches of rainfall.

Texas National Guard soldiers arrive in Houston, Texas to aid citizens in heavily flooded areas from the storms of Hurricane Harvey.U.S. Army photo by Lt. Zachary West

Texas National Guardsmen rescue Houston residents via boat, the only way to easily traverse the heavily flooded streets following Hurricane Harvey.U.S. Army photo by Lt. Zachary West

Initially Texas Gov. Greg Abbott mobilized 900 members of the state’s National Guard on Aug. 25, but just two days later, the number had skyrocketed to 3,000, NBC News reports. An additional 500 vehicles, 14 aircraft and 6 shelters have also been called into service. The additional guardsmen and military personnel are stationed from Houston to Corpus Christi — where Harvey initially made landfall — and all areas in between and along the Gulf Coast.

Since the hurricane hit, members of the National Guard, Coast Guard, first responders, and volunteers have been working around the clock to assist those stranded and trapped in the wake of the flood.

National Guardsmen help Houston residents into a military vehicle in the wake of Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 27, 2017.U.S. Army photo by Lt. Zachary West

A Texas Task Force responder helps hoist a stranded resident to a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during search and rescue near Rockport, Holiday Beach and Port Aransas, Texas on Aug. 27, 2017.U.S. Army photo

"This is what we train for," Army Brig. Gen. Patrick M. Hamilton, commander of the Domestic Operations Task Force, said in a Department of Defense statement. "And we're proud to stand beside our civilian partners, first responders and volunteers to serve the citizens of Texas."

Related: Hurricane Harvey Cleaves ‘Devastating, Catastrophic’ Path Across Texas »

Texas National Guardsmen work with emergency responders to evacuate a resident on a stretcher in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey flooding, near Victoria, Texas, on Aug. 27, 2017.U.S. Army photo by Capt. Martha Nigrelle

Coast Guard rescued 15 people in distress near Port Aransas, Texas in response to Hurricane Harvey, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017.U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Corpus Christi.

Texas National Guard soldiers arrive in Houston, Texas to aid citizens in heavily flooded areas from the storms of Hurricane Harvey.U.S. Army photo by Lt. Zachary West

Harvey —  the first hurricane to make direct landfall on Texas since Hurricane Ike in 2008 —  is a Category 4 hurricane with 130 mile-per-hour winds and was declared a major disaster by FEMA on Aug. 25. At least six people have died in the wake of the flooding, according to Slate.

The “unprecedented” hurricane was made worse by warm water in the Gulf of Mexico and a lack of winds that might have steered it away from the coast, the Times reports.

“A two- or three-foot storm surge alone would not have been catastrophic,” Hal Needham, a storm-surge expert and the founder of Marine Weather & Climate, told the Times. “It was all these ingredients coming together.”

Texas National Guardsmen rescue a resident by boat during flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Aug. 27, 2017.U.S. Army photo by Lt. Zachary West

Emergency responders and Texas National Guardsmen make their way through residential areas in Victoria, Texas, that were flooded following Hurricane Harvey.U.S. Army photo by Capt. Martha Nigrelle

A Texas National Guardsman shakes hands with a resident after assisting his family during Hurricane Harvey flooding in Houston, Texas.U.S. Army photo by Lt. Zachary West

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