More than 9,000 people have had to be rescued in the wake of flooding caused by Tropical Storm Harvey.
In dramatic scenes people were seen being taken to safety by helicopter after being hoisted on board with cargo winches, and pulled on to rescue boats operated by both the US Coast Guard and brave volunteers.
The extensive rescue efforts came in the wake of Harvey making landfall in Texas on Friday – at which time it came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane before then lingering off the coast as a tropical storm and bringing with it five straight days of rain.
On Thursday emergency officials confirmed over 32,000 people were in shelters across the state of Texas after more than 1,000 homes were destroyed and a further 50,000 damaged by Harvey.
The US Coast Guard also announced its crews had helped rescue more than 9,000 people and 1,000 pets in the days since the storm made landfall as a hurricane.
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Meanwhile Congress has confirmed it is gearing up for a vote as early as next week on a multibillion-dollar down payment on relief aid for Harvey after receiving an emergency request to replenish rapidly shrinking aid reserves.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has so far been spending existing disaster aid reserves, believed to total up to $2.3 billion, to help people affected by the flooding in Texas.
According to reports Houston Democratic Republican Sheila Jackson Lee has already said it could take an aid package as big as $150 billion to handle the disaster long-term.
The death toll from Harvey was also raised to more than 30 overnight on Wednesday but it is thought this figure could still rise.
In Houston rescuers are said to have started a block-by-block search of flooded homes for storm victims.
Houston police also confirmed a Houston family of six were among the dead after their van was submerged when they tried to escape the flood waters.
The two grandparents and four children, aged six to 16, died after their vehicle sank in Houston.
Fears were also raised as fires and two explosions rocked a flooded chemical plant in Texas, sending up a plume of smoke that was initially described by federal authorities as “incredibly dangerous”.