Coast Guard rescues 20 people from boats and barges in midst of Tropical Storm Harvey

PORT ARANSAS, TEXAS (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard has stationed rescue boats and planes at several locations around parts of Southeast Texas affected by Tropical Storm Harvey.

The Coast Guard's Houston-Galveston sector protects the coastline near the nation's fourth-largest city, a region home to a critical port and major oil refineries.

Capt. Kevin Oditt, the sector commander, told reporters Saturday that he's confident the refineries have made contingency plans for the rain and winds expected to pelt the area for several days.

The Coast Guard closed the Port of Houston Friday. At least two dozen boats in the sector are on standby for water rescues or other emergencies.

Further south along the Texas Gulf Coast, Coast Guard officers pulled 20 people in separate rescues from boats and barges. 

Harvey came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane Friday night but has since been downgraded to a tropical storm.

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