A photo of soldiers resting at a Texas high school has gone viral, with many people hailing the soldiers as heroes.
“Thanks Katy High School for housing these heroes!” Fort Bend County Sherriff’s Office said in a message accompanying the photo on Facebook.
The soldiers are seen sleeping amid rows of red lockers at Katy High School, which is located in an area hard hit by the hurricane.
The school opened its doors on Thursday night to soldiers working on relief efforts.
“Inside of Katy High….these are the real heroes. Thank You for all that you do.” the school football team wrote on Twitter.
The image has been shared on Twitter and Facebook thousands of times, with people leaving hundreds of heartfelt comments.
“God Bless You and your families, who really know and understand the depth of your commitment to our country. Sleep well and be safe. Thanks,” wrote one person on Twitter.
USA Today posted a video of the Army Humvees arriving in Katy, Texas, on Thursday.
They were also seen filling up a gas tanker at a local gas station.
Despite all the love the photo received, some people chose to criticize the school for posting the photo.
“Despite everything positive going on, a few outlets have taken the opportunity to bash Katy HS for soldiers sleeping in the hallway,” the Katy Football team wrote on Twitter. “National Guard has beds and cots…and by CHOICE several went into the hallway. So to diffuse the situation, we’re removing the pic.”
One Week After Landfall
A week after Hurricane Harvey came ashore in Texas, rescuers pressed their marathon search for survivors on Friday in large pockets of land that remained flooded by one of the costliest natural disasters to hit the United States.
The storm has displaced more than 1 million people with 44 feared dead from the flooding that paralyzed Houston, swelled river levels to record highs, and knocked out the drinking water supply in Beaumont, Texas, a city of about 120,000 people.
Chemical maker Arkema SA and public health officials warned of the risk of more explosions and fires at a plant owned by the company. Blasts had rocked the facility, about 25 miles east of Houston and the company zoned off inside a 1.5-mile exclusion zone, on Thursday after it was engulfed by floodwater.
With three months to go in the official Atlantic hurricane season, a new storm, Irma, had strengthened into a Category 3 storm, the midpoint of the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, on Friday, Sept.1. It remained hundreds of miles from land but was forecast to possibly hit the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and neighboring Haiti by the middle of next week.
Harvey shut about a quarter of the U.S.’s refinery capacity, much of which is clustered along the Gulf Coast, and caused gasoline prices to spike to a two-year high ahead of the long Labor Day holiday weekend.
With the presence of water-borne contaminants a growing concern, the National Weather Service issued flood watches from Arkansas into Ohio on Friday as the remnants of the storm made their way through the U.S. heartland.
The Neches River, which flows into Beaumont and nearby Port Arthur, was forecast for a record crest from Friday well above flood levels.
Two of the last people remaining in their flooded home near the river, Kent Kirk, 58, and Hersey Kirk, 59, were pulled to safety late Thursday.
“They were the last holdouts, the last house,” said Dennis Landy, a neighbor who had spent the day ferrying people by boat from a small, remote group of houses near Rose City, Texas, close to the Neches’ banks, to safety.
It took an hour of coaxing by a rescuer but Hersey Kirk finally let herself be carried from her wheelchair to the boat and then to a Utah Air National Guard helicopter.
“I’m losing everything again,” she said. “We got flooded in Ike, in Rita. My husband just got a new car—well, it was new to him anyway. It’s sitting in 5 feet of water.”
Harvey roared ashore a week ago as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in half a century. It dumped unprecedented amounts of rain and left devastation across more than 300 miles in the southeast of the state.
Reuters contributed to this report.