Storm death toll reaches nine in OC
The death toll related to Tropical Storm Harvey has reached nine, Orange County Emergency Management said in a 5 p.m. (Sunday, Sept. 3) news release.
Two of the deaths were discovered after searches initiated by missing persons reports.
Four of the dead were elderly and possibly connected to power outages, the report said.
“If you have a friend or family member that did not leave areas that were impacted by the rising waters and you have not heard from them, we urge you to contact your local law enforcement.”
Local law enforcement agencies, along with Texas Task Force, National Guard, and active duty military troops, began grid assessments Sunday.
“The assessments will be ongoing to determine evacuation needs, conduct welfare checks, and evaluate infrastructure damage,” the release said.
The effort began Sunday in the Pinehurst area with troops going street by street. Several roads were still holding water and a down power line was reported.
“We anticipate responders to be in the Pine Forest area [Monday],” OCEM said, “and want to remind the citizens that they will be easily identified by clearly marked vehicles and uniforms.”
Reports show 4,970 people were evacuated from Orange County to Lake Charles. The large majority of those were from the two sites designated as staging areas.
This number does not reflect the number of people that were brought in within the first few hours of the storm or by the many that so selflessly volunteered across the county.
The Mobile Medical Unit, located at Baptist Hospital in Orange, has continued to serve Orange County citizens well, as the total patients seen has risen to 153.
“Volunteer groups have been such a huge blessing to our community and have served over 9,000 hot meals at the POD (Point of Distribution) sites as of Saturday,” the release stated.
The POD sites dispensing water, food and ice are: Northway Shopping Center, 3777 N. 16th St., Orange; Vidor Middle School, 2500 Highway 12, Vidor; intersection of Highways 62 and 12, Mauriceville; and Bridge City Bus Barn, 1025 West Roundbunch Road, Bridge City.
To date, over 500 animals have been rescued. They include cats, dogs, horses, nine Longhorn cattle, two parrots, and two chinchillas.