LPD officers return from Harvey disaster relief

LPD officers return from Harvey disaster relief

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The first wave of Lubbock police officers who worked disaster relief on the Texas coast are back in Lubbock.

Officers who volunteered for the detail said it is something they will never forget.

"When we first got there, the adrenaline is rushing," said Sgt. Korie Archambault. "We know what we have to do, we were on a mission. When we got down there and the U.S. Coast Guard and the Army and everyone was there already, it felt like a war zone."

Archambault manned the boats, going door to door making rescues. He said he never knew what was waiting for him in the next house.

"We walked into a retirement home. It was kind of an eerie feeling," he said. "We walked in and all of the TVs in the house were still on and so I thought I'm going to walk around the corner into the bedroom and there's going to be an elderly person deceased and so I cleared the first bedroom, went into the second bedroom, third bedroom and luckily they had all be evacuated prior to that."

While Archambault worked search and rescue, other officers were tasked with a number of duties including assisting those being pulled from the flood waters.

Officers Bryson Lewis and John Geeslin served side-by-side helping evacuees get back to the safety of dry land.

"There was an apartment complex that had been flooded up to the first floor," Lewis said. "They were sending local boat crews in, volunteer crews in and fire. They were going into the apartment complex and pulling people out by the boat and bringing them back to us where there was dry land and we were helping them out of the boats and sending them to shelters or giving them rides to wherever they could get to safety."

"It was just crazy in the sense that most people had just one trash bag filled with clothes or whatever valuables that they could carry in a trash bag and they had their pets in their little crates hoping they could get those to dry land," Geeslin said. 

The officers said what will stick with them is the gratefulness of those they helped and the sheer number of those wanting to volunteer.

"I mean everyone's throwing around Texans and I think Texas is great but just from a citizen stand point and a people stand point I feel like they really come together," Geeslin said. 

"The amount of support we got from people down there, from police officers, from fire departments, and the amount of citizens down there was huge," Lewis said. 

Another group of officers will head back to the coast Wednesday morning to assist other police departments in the affected areas.

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