The U.S. military is starting to send more of its resources to assist rescue efforts in Texas as law enforcement and volunteers struggle amid the deadly flooding across parts of the state.
Two U.S. Navy warships are being sent to Texas: the USS Kearsarge and the USS Oak Hill.
The amphibious assault ship Kearsarge was previously in the Atlantic Ocean for training purposes but it returned to Norfolk on Tuesday to stock up on disaster relief supplies and a unit of Marines. It departs for Texas on Aug. 31, according to CNN.
The other warship, Oak Hill, is a smaller dock landing ship that will bring supplies and support the Kearsarge during relief efforts.
The ships are “capable of providing medical support, maritime civil affairs, maritime security, expeditionary logistic support, medium and heavy lift air support, and bring a diverse capability including assessment and security”, a statement from the Navy said.
A video of a U.S. Navy aircraft rescue mission was posted on twitter. Footage shows sailors hoisting stranded Texans to safety.
“BREAKING: Watch #USNavy HSC-7 Sailors conduct #HurricaneHarvey search and rescue mission over #Beaumont, Texas, earlier today” the tweet posted on Aug. 30 said.
Recovery from this disaster will be a “long-term effort”, the Navy said, it also said it will “fully support FEMA and Texas.”
Aboard the two ships will be 690 U.S. Marines deployed by the U.S. Marine Corps, according to a Marine official, CNN reported. The Marines come from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, II Marine Expeditionary Force Marine Expeditionary Force and will help in rescue efforts.
In addition, both the Air Force and the Navy have been sending helicopters and aircraft to help with rescue missions in Texas since Monday. This is the first time active duty military vehicles have been used in the Texas rescue efforts, CNN reported.
Helicopters used so far included six Navy MH-60s and three Air Force HH-60 rotary wing aircraft.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has also activated all of the 12,000 Texas National Guard members to assist in rescue operations.
The Federal Emergency Management Administration said nearly one million people have registered for assistance. In addition 48,700 homes have been affected by the catastrophic flooding and other damage since Friday, the Texas Department of Public Safety said, according to weather.com.
Texas officials fear the death-toll of 30, as of writing, will rise dramatically as flood waters start to gradually recede.
A tweet from the Navy confirmed the two warships are on their way to Texas today on Aug. 31.