COLLEGE STATION – Tropical Storm Harvey has reduced in
wind speed and intensity, with 50 mph sustained winds, but life-threating
rainfall is still expected over a large area of the Texas coast. Given the size
of the impact area and the continued potential for significant rain and flood
damage to a number of Texas counties, several search and rescue teams have
begun operations in the region.
At 6 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, the Texas Division
of Emergency Management (TDEM) activated Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) Urban
Search & Rescue (US&R), water rescue, and helicopter rescue resources
to respond to then Hurricane Harvey. Additionally, Texas Task Force 2
(TX-TF2) and FEMA US&R teams were activated and positioned in several
locations throughout Texas.
Once extreme storm conditions subsided, TX-TF1 personnel
began assisting local personnel with response efforts. TX-TF1 and TX-TF2 have
begun operations in the Corpus Christi and Houston areas.
TX-TF1 partners with the Texas Military Department to form
helicopter search and rescue teams. These teams provide task force rescue
swimmers who have expertise in aerial swiftwater and flood rescue. A major
asset to the affected areas are the companies of soldiers operating high
profile vehicles to evacuate survivors from flooded areas.
TX-TF1 and Texas A&M Engineering Extension
Service personnel are also deployed to TDEM’s State Operations Center
(SOC), and to Texas DPS Emergency Operations Centers as Liaison Officers for
the response teams, with additional personnel on alert to support impacted
regions. These personnel are also supporting the Texas Aviation Operations
Center, the Joint Air-Ground Coordination Team, and the Texas State Search
& Rescue Overhead Team.
Although weather conditions have allowed search and
rescue operations to begin, this is an ongoing event. Search and rescue teams
will be active in the coastal areas for several days.
About Texas Task Force 1
TX-TF1 is sponsored by the Texas A&M Engineering
Extension Service (TEEX) and has deployed over 100 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.
Visit the Texas Task Force 1 Website: www.texastaskforce1.org/
Deployment Briefs of previous deployments.
Follow Texas Task Force 1 on Facebook: www.facebook.com/txtf1