TX-TF1 rescue operations continue for river flooding in East, Southeast Texas

9/1/2017 12:00 AM

COLLEGE STATION - As Tropical Depression Harvey moves across the South, it has left in its wake flooded rivers, creeks and reservoirs that are still impacting many people. Texas Task Force 1, Texas Task Force 2 and other state and federal assets continue to conduct search and rescue, evacuation and other life-safety operations across much of East and Southeast Texas.

Harvey dropped a record 51.8 inches of rain on Texas, making it the largest single rain event in U.S. history, and causing rivers, creeks and reservoirs to flood at record-breaking levels. While the danger of flash flooding is largely over, river flooding events will keep TX-TF1 and its response partners engaged in supporting a large number of Texans.   

Texas Task Force 1 is fully deployed with Urban Search & Rescue (US&R), water rescue, and helicopter rescue resources. TX-TF2 and resources from nearly all 28 FEMA US&R teams have been activated to support operations across the state. Also, Texas Military Department has activated State Guard members and has deployed a large number of helicopters and High-Profile Vehicles.

TX-TF1 and TX-TF2 US&R Task Forces are continuing search and rescue operations in Fort Bend and Brazoria counties and southeast Houston, where the Brazos and Sabine Rivers continue to rise to unprecedented flooding levels, displacing people and pets from thousands of homes. In the Harris County area, US&R task forces conducted primary search operations of flooded communities alongside the local fire departments. TX-TF1 Water Rescue Squads, and TX-TF1 Helicopter Search and Rescue Technicians continued conducting water rescue operations in Liberty, Chambers, Jefferson and Orange counties as the Neches, Sabine and San Bernard Rivers experience major flooding.

The size and scope of the Texas and national response is truly astounding, with responders and teams coming from nearly every state, even Puerto Rico, and from all branches of emergency services and the military.

TX-TF1 continues to assess and move resources around to support jurisdictions requiring assistance, said Texas Task Force 1 Director Jeff Saunders. “Once the critical rescues and evacuations are completed, we will systematically check homes in the flooded areas to make sure we have located and accounted for all survivors of this disastrous storm.

“The outpouring of response from across the country is gratifying,” Saunders added. “As these additional teams and assets arrive, we will be able to rotate in fresh crews of personnel and equipment as the operations continue in Southeast Texas in the coming days or weeks. In the meantime, I’m happy to report that TX-TF1 and TX-TF2 members remain safe and committed to the mission of helping fellow Texans and saving lives.”

TX-TF1 is sponsored by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, located in College Station, Texas. 

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