NYC Urban Search and Rescue team helps with Texas crisis

Posted: Updated:
HOLIDAY LAKES, T.X. -

Eighty members of the New York City Urban Search and Rescue Squad continued work Wednesday to save people from the historic flooding left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

One of those people was Justin Tyrrell, who got out of his house in Holiday Lakes, Texas, just before the floodwaters drenched his community about 60 miles south of Houston. He says many of his relatives and neighbors stayed in their homes.

"I can't ride it out any longer when I see it creeping into my house," says Dora Ayaala, another Holiday Lakes resident. The NYC Urban Search and Rescue Task Force helped rescue her, a neighbor and two dogs from the rising floodwaters. "They were awesome. And handsome -- let's put it that way."

The team is comprised of FDNY members, many from Long Island. When Harvey hit, they brought down supplies, boats and trucks to assist people stuck in their homes.

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Mini Franklin, Ayaala's neighbor, says they were surprised when their rescuers had strange accents.

"The first thing I asked them is where they were from," Franklin says. "It was surprising they came from New York, but it was a good thing."

The search and rescue team spent much of their day helping evacuate people, though many Texans decided to stay behind in their homes. 

"Some of the locals don't want to leave," said Jack Flatley. "We can't make them leave, but we are here to support the local community on behalf of the federal government."

The New York team says it plans to stay for at least a few more days.

Heroes from New York help with rescue effort

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