Flooded Texas senior citizens in viral photo are now safe

Some of the patients evacuated from a flooded nursing home in Dickinson, Texas, relax at their new Laurel Court home in nearby Alvin. The National Guard rescued them late Sunday.

HOUSTON — A widely shared photo this week showed senior citizens in a suburban Houston nursing home, waiting helplessly to be rescued as floodwaters rose around them.

Now those residents of the La Vita Bella assisted living facility are dry and safe in another nursing home nearby.

Rescuers arrived late Sunday and took the nine residents to the Laurel Court retirement home in Alvin, some 40 miles south of Houston.

“We were able to provide these patients with hot showers, food, warm beds, and a safe haven,” read a statement from Laurel Court. “Each is now resting comfortably.”

The residents’ plight drew widespread attention after the owner of their original La Vita Bella nursing home in Dickinson snapped a photo of several of them in the flooded facility with water up to their waists and beyond.

Flooding inside La Vita Bella nursing home (PHOTO: Trudy Lampson)

Kim McIntosh lives in Florida, but told CNN that her mother, Trudy Lampson, who owns La Vita Bella, took the original photo.

“Most of these people are in wheelchairs and (on) oxygen,” she said.

McIntosh said her mother told her that officials had instructed her not to evacuate the home. Instead, they were told to stay in place and have a disaster plan.

McIntosh told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday morning the water became waist-deep 10 to 15 minutes after it first started flowing through the doors.

But when the situation turned dire and Lampson began calling for a rescue, she was told that first responders wouldn’t be able to help, the daughter said.

“They were basically told no one was coming because they couldn’t reach them,” McIntosh said. “That’s when we decided to go ahead and tweet the photos.”

The National Guard arrived in trucks, she said, and were able to rescue the residents.

Galveston County, which includes Dickinson, has received more than 1,000 requests for evacuation and rescue in recent days, said Ken Clark, a county commissioner.

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