Army helicopter delivers supplies to Harvey-ravaged counties

BROOKSHIRE, Texas (KTRK) -- On Sunday, a National Guard unit from Dallas was sent to Houston, and their helicopter was a welcome sight for Hurricane Harvey victims.

"Everybody has been highly appreciative of us coming out and I feel bad for them because some of them lost everything," said U.S. Army Master Sgt. Derek Smith.

The Chinook is one of the U.S. military's most powerful aircraft. They're still used in Afghanistan, and due to their enormous carrying capacity they have been highly effective in disaster relief over the years.

Master Sgt. Smith brought us along for a ride. Inside the helicopter it was cramped and warm. Nearly every inch of free space was taken up by supplies, but you barely noticed with what was happening outside. From 1,000 feet in the air, the flooding seemed even bigger, more all-consuming than on the ground.

"The good thing is that we're Texas. So, Texas strong - we're going to come back," Master Sgt. Smith said.

Our first stop was Chambers County, where officials were waiting for our supplies.

The unloading process has gotten much easier since the rain stopped.

"At the beginning we didn't have forklifts or anything," said Master Sgt. Smith.

A few moments went by and we were back in the air, back over flooded streets and neighborhoods.

Next we landed in Liberty, where the Trinity River forced about 1,000 people to evacuate. We had nearly 8,000 pounds of medicines, water, and food.

"Being in a small town, it's like a carnival coming to town," said Liberty Mayor Carl Pickett. "I say that in a positive way, because they're so helpful and so supportive."

Some families just wandered into the fire station for help.

"I did not expect to see all this. With everything that was going on prior to this storm, this hurricane, the way everybody was acting - that's just gone," said Travis Catchings, who had to evacuate his home. "Everybody is just coming together. We just walked up here and they're helping."

There's never enough time for 'thank yous,' because for these National Guardsmen the work continues. They will be repeating this mission over and over again - today, tonight, and possibly in the weeks and months to come.

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