COLLEGE STATION – Water rescue squads and resources from Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) were activated by the Texas Division of Emergency Management on April 15 as severe weather crossed into Central, North and Southeast Texas.
Over the weekend, as much as 16 inches of rain fell in less than eight hours in parts of Southeast Texas, resulting in flash and river flooding, as well as road and highway closures in the Greater Houston area. It was the most significant rain event in the region since Tropical Storm Allison in 2001.
TX-TF1 worked with response partners, Texas Military Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) and Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT), to support and assist local responders across the state.
In conjunction with its state response partners, TX-TF1 rescued 27 people and 17 animals and evacuated 435 individuals plus 62 animals to a safer location. They also assisted five people and made contact with 253 people who chose to shelter-in-place.
Overall, TX-TF1 deployed 12 water rescue boat squads, three water rescue managers, eight helicopter rescue swimmers, and a type 4 US&R Team with flood water evacuation capabilities to support local jurisdictions. A Type-4 US&R flood water-capable team from TX-TF2 was also deployed to Granbury, Texas.
In addition, TX-TF1 deployed three Agency Liaison Officers (LNOs) in the State Operations Center in Austin, one ESF-9 Liaison supporting local jurisdictions and the SAR (Search and Rescue) Overhead Team in College Station.
On April 22, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster in 16 counties. During the eight-day deployment, TX-TF1 resources were active in multiple locations, including Harris, Austin, Walker, Wharton, Grimes, Waller, Navarro, Palo Pinto, and Parker counties. The team demobilized its final resources on April 23.
About Texas Task Force 1
TX-TF1 is sponsored by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and has deployed over 90 times since 1997, including the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, Sept. 11th World Trade Center attack, and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike. TX-TF1 can be activated by the Texas Division of Emergency Management or as one of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 28 sanctioned urban search and rescue teams.
Texas Task Force 1 Website: www.texastaskforce1.org/