The Department of Defense sent more reinforcements on Thursday.
683 Marines from the 26th Marine Expenditory Unit pulled out of the port in Norfolk, Virginia this afternoon, to assist in Harvey relief efforts.
Col. Farrell Sullivan told Channel 6 the USS Kearsarge, equipped with MV-22 Osprey helicopters, CH-53 helicopters, and UH-1Y helicopters will deploy to the Gulf of Mexico. The ship has capabilities to generate power for residents in the impacted areas. They also have machines to purify gallons of water from the sea or rivers.
For some Marines on the USS Kearsarge, the devastation of Harvey is personal.
"Yes we do have Marines from that area," Sullivan said. "I think the first question is, is your family okay? And so I think across the board, their families have been able to get to safe zones so they've been doing okay. I think they, in particular, I mean we all have a lot at stake here, but I think for them, it's even more important that we do this."
Sullivan said they did not receive an exact location of where they'll be helping yet, but they are focused and excited to get started. He said they have been watching from a distance and they have a better appreciation for how proud Texans are to say they're Texans.