Fifteen senior citizens were rescued from a Dickinson assisted living community, hours after a viral photo showing them sitting in waist-deep water went viral.
Dickinson emergency management coordinator David Popoff confirmed that 18 people were rescued from La Vita Bella, an assisted living facility in the 3500 block of Oak Drive in Dickinson.
Popoff confirmed the rescue by phone to The Daily News at noon on Sunday, hours after a post on Twitter showing at least eight people, and one cat, sitting in a room with water up to their waists.
“We were air-lifting grandmothers and grandfathers,” Popoff said.
Timothy McIntosh, of Tampa, Fla., sent the original tweet, which was re-tweeted more than 2,000 times.
The Daily News reached out to McIntosh on Twitter, and then spoke to him over the phone. He said the picture was sent to him by Trudy Lampson, his mother-in-law and the owner of the La Vita Bella, at about 9 a.m.
The Daily News attempted to reach Lampson by phone, but she did not return calls.
Kimberly McIntosh, Lampson’s daughter and Timothy’s wife, said she spoke to her mother on Sunday morning.
“She said it was a disaster and they were hoping the National Guard would come,” Kimberly McIntosh said.
The unbelievable picture led many to question its authenticity. Before publishing, The Daily News sent the photo to Popoff, who is helping supervising hundreds of rescues in Dickinson.
“These people have been evacuated,” Popoff said. He then confirmed the evacuation from La Vita Bella specifically in a phone call.
During a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Galveston County Judge Mark Henry also confirmed the rescue.