US Navy helicopters respond to Houston floods, fleet prepares for larger response

David B. Larter

A Navy MH-60 Knighthawk prepares to take off for rescue flights in the Houston area. (Navy)

WASHINGTON – Six U.S. Navy MH-60 Knighthawk helicopters are in action in Houston rescuing civilians as part of a coordinated federal response to massive flooding that has all-but paralyzed the city, the result of Hurricane Harvey that made landfall Aug. 25.

The helicopters have rescued 17 people so far and rescue efforts are continuing throughout the night. Four MH-53 Sea Dragon helos are en route. The aircraft are from Helicopter Sea Combat Squardrons 7 and 28.

The fleet is also readying the amphibious assault ship Kearsarge and the dock landing ship Oak Hill for a sortie mission to the Gulf of Mexico to aid the Federal Emergency Management Agency-led effort there, even as Texas and Louisiana brace for more days of rain, Navy sources told Defense News. 

Kearsarge and Oak Hill would be able to be underway for a response by late Wednesday or early Thursday morning, sources said.

Harvey has pounded the Houston area with 25 inches of rain, and another 25 more are expected by the weekend.

Earlier Monday, President Trump said he was expecting requests for Federal funds from Texas and Louisiana officials soon and that Congress would act on them quickly.

“You’re going to see very rapid action from Congress, certainly from the President,” Trump said.


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