Lubbock police rescue hundreds as part of Houston relief effort

Lubbock police rescue hundreds as part of Houston relief effort
LPD officers trying to lift the spirits of a young evacuee at NRG stadium in Houston (source: Lubbock Police Department)
LPD officers trying to lift the spirits of a young evacuee at NRG stadium in Houston (source: Lubbock Police Department)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - LPD officers rescued over 700 people in the Houston area as part of their relief efforts, and they're not done yet.

Hundreds of first responders from across the state have been a part of the rescue and relief efforts following the damage Hurricane Harvey left behind.

Here in Lubbock, our very own Lubbock Police officers and some members of Lubbock Fire and Rescue also played a role in helping.

There is a group of LPD officers still in the Houston area, and they'll be relieved by a third group heading there Wednesday to help Houston Police in any way needed.

We spoke with members of the first group of Lubbock Police officers who headed down immediately after the storm.

Lubbock Police Sergeants Philip Rolan and Korie Archambault will never forget the images of destruction they saw while helping during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Even knowing the potential danger ahead, both of them say they didn't think twice about volunteering to go help.

"Actually being down there where it happened, it was an unreal experience that I've never experienced before," Sgt. Rolan said.

Sgt. Rolan's team of officers was stationed at NRG stadium in Houston, which turned into a shelter for evacuees.

Our LPD officers helped man the gates as flood victims arrived, but they also tried to lift the spirits of these people who lost so much.

"It was really awesome to kind of see the support everybody had," Sgt. Rolan said.

Sgt. Archambault was on a different assignment with another officer and two members of the Lubbock Fire Department's Swift Water Rescue Team.

This group of four took the LPD rescue boat down to Port Arthur, and along with eleven other departments from across the state, they rescued more than 700 stranded residents in the first three days.

"When we got down there the U.S. Coast Guard, the Army and all of them were there already. It felt like a war zone. Helicopters were flying over us daily. We medevacked a woman out of a house. And the military, the Coast Guard were coming in their hum v's and tanks," Sgt. Archambault said.

Sgt. Archambault says resources were limited, the next moments were unknown and the team even slept inside a bowling alley to get some rest when they could.

But he says the thought of another person needing to be rescued is what kept them going.

"We all have a calling to be a fireman or a policeman. And going down there, I didn't even think about anything. I just went. And pulling those people out of the water, and bringing them to safety it was humbling. It took a lot of energy from us... we worked together as a team. We relied on each other for survival, and we did what we had to do," he said.

The third team of Lubbock Police Officers will head out Wednesday morning, and Chief Greg Stevens says the immediate need is for our officers to help Houston Police with patrolling in the areas hardest hit by the storm.

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