Trapped Port Arthur resident rescued after emotional plea for help

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PORT ARTHUR, Texas — Speaking with CNN on air Wednesday, Port Arthur resident Cynthia Harmon made a desperate plea for rescue. “We’re just really hungry, we don’t have any more water, we can’t go downstairs as there’s a little over four feet of water down there,” Harmon told Brooke Baldwin.

Harmon said she was stuck in her attic with her two sons and two grandchildren awaiting rescue. “We’ve been waiting for someone to come and get us since 12 a.m. … We see helicopters, at least three of them, in my area, but none has stopped for us yet.”

She said she and her family had been calling 911 since Tuesday night. “We just kept calling and calling and calling,” Harmon said. “The phone kept ringing or it was busy and then finally, this morning, we got through.”

Less than an hour after she spoke to Baldwin, help finally arrived. Rescuers came and picked up her family one by one, Harmon told CNN by phone, saying she was about to step into a rescue helicopter.

She called back after her family had landed. “Thank you so much, I appreciate you all,” Harmon said. “From the bottom of my heart.”

During the interview, Harmon told Baldwin how desperate the family was to be rescued.

She said she had put a sheet outside the house to signal that they needed help. Two boats had passed by, she said, but she and her family were unable to get downstairs due to the level of water inside.

“I know if I get out there, it’s going to be high on me because I’m shorter than my SUV that I have and it’s all the way up to the windows,” Harmon said. “That’s how deep my SUV is under the water.”

Harmon was standing in the kitchen getting ready to cook when she felt her feet get wet. “Water came in so fast we didn’t have a chance to unplug any of the appliances or anything,” Harmon said. “Water was pouring through the walls like crazy, so I just told the kids to hurry up and get upstairs. … I didn’t want anybody to get electrocuted.”

The family ran out of the food they had upstairs late Tuesday evening, she said, and finished the water at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.

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“I’m trying to keep calm,” she told Baldwin. “I’ve had two anxiety attacks. The first one is when I fell down the stairs trying to get up out of the water. I was so scared, I fell back in all that water and banged my knee. Now it’s all swollen and I can hardly walk.”

“That’s another reason why I want to get out,” she said. “I want to check and hope I didn’t really do anything to it, because I can’t walk on it.”

Sharing her address live on TV, Harmon explained how desperate they are to be rescued.

“This is something else,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s scary.”