A “multiple” number of senior citizens were taken to a county jail for assessment and treatment after the roof of a senior housing complex collapsed in Rockport, Texas, officials said.
The report of the collapse was one of the first signs of significant damage as Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Gulf Coast of Texas.
Rockport, a coastal city of about 10,000 people, was directly in the path of Harvey.
City manager Kevin Carruth said multiple people were taken to jail after the collapse. KIII-TV reported that 10 people were treated there.
Carruth said Rockport’s historic downtown area has seen extensive damage.
Volunteer Fire Department Chief Steve Sims said there were about 15 firefighters at the Rockport fire station waiting for conditions to improve enough for emergency vehicles to safely respond to pleas for help.
“There’s nothing we can do at this moment. We are anxious to get out there and make assessments, but we’re hunkered down for now,” Sims said.
Earlier Friday, Rockport Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Rios offered ominous advice, telling KIII-TV that those who chose to stay put "should make some type of preparation to mark their arm with a Sharpie pen," implying that doing so would make it easier for rescuers to identify them.
Meanwhile, Rockport Volunteer Fire Department spokeswoman Gillian Cox told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that the roof of Rockport's high school had partially caved in. Cox said social media posts that the school has "disappeared" were inaccurate.
Carruth told the newspaper that the Rockport's courthouse also experienced major damage. Carruth said a cargo trailer was halfway in the building.
Officials in Aransas Pass said the Harbor Master Building along its coast has been destroyed. The Aransas Pass Police Department posted a video on its Facebook page of the building folding up from high speed winds.
This story includes reporting from the Associated Press.