North of Beaumont, Fast-rising Floods Prompt Hundreds of Rescues

LUMBERTON -- A red helicopter clattered overhead in the rain Wednesday, then a rope dropped down with a note. Call if you need rescuing, it said, with a phone number. Turned out two great-grandmothers in Rose Hill Acres, a small town 20 minutes north of Beaumont, did need rescuing. The 85-year-olds had been riding out the storm at their children's home on high ground, which had never flooded in the past. But this time, the houses around them were submerged, and the floodwaters were rising fast, maybe even six inches an hour. The family wanted out. Clad in a red short-sleeved wetsuit and a yellow helmet, a Coast Guard officer rappelled down from the helicopter. He showed June Hill how to crouch in the basket with her arms around her bent knees. "Ok, here we go," Hill said, trusting her guide, but clearly nervous, as the basket lifted off the ground.   Continue reading...

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