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TX-TF1 prepares for possible severe weather and tornado activity in East Texas

3/31/2008 12:00 AM

Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) is preparing for the potential deployment of the task force due to continued severe weather expected in East Texas.

As the task force was wrapping up a successful three-day, full-scale earthquake exercise with task force leadership and personnel, the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management (GDEM) asked TX-TF1 to stand by for an actual deployment. This morning, GDEM directed TX-TF1 to send three liaison officers to Sabine and San Augustine counties. Additional personnel were placed on standby and task force leadership began planning operations for a possible deployment into East Texas.

Weather outlook
A briefing from the National Weather Service predicted severe, damaging wind and rain with possible tornadic activity in Sabine and San Augustine counties. Additionally, the National Weather Service predicts more rain in East Texas through 5 a.m. Tuesday. In some cases, up to 10 inches of additional rainfall are predicted, which could flood creeks and rivers already full from recent storms. Due to this threat, TX-TF1 swift water rescue squads have been placed on standby throughout the central and eastern parts of Texas, ready for activation and deployment as necessary. This morning, TX-TF1 also began to make equipment preparations to transition from its weekend training exercise to an actual deployment. Many different pieces of equipment were used this weekend due to the size and complexity of the exercise. The simulated 7.2-magnitude earthquake severely damaged downtown Disaster City and required significant heavy rescue, including breaching and breaking operations on multiple concrete structures and using a 25-ton crane to move large pieces of debris.

The citizens of Texas are reminded to monitor local media and NOAA Weather Radio during severe weather events for any statements and/or warnings issued by the National Weather Service.

Flash Flood Facts
As little as six inches of water moving over a roadway can begin to move your car. Swift water has a different effect on vehicles than standing water. Twelve to 24 inches of swift water can sweep away any type of vehicle, even a large truck or SUV.

2007 Flash Flood Deaths in Texas
  • 76% of victims were in their vehicles, 10% were in their homes, 14% were on foot.
  • 71% of flash flood deaths occurred at night, 24% during daytime, 5% at an unknown time.
  • Of the flash flood deaths involving vehicles, 67% of those were larger vehicles (truck, SUV, or van). 33% of the vehicles involved were cars.
About Texas Task Force 1
Texas Task Force 1 is sponsored by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and is comprised of more than 400 personnel representing over 60 jurisdictions and agencies from across the state of Texas and is one of 28 teams in the national urban search and rescue system under FEMA. Texas Task Force 1 and TEEX coordinate state-wide requests for search and rescue. TEEX and the Task Force are headquartered in College Station.

About the Texas Engineering Extension Service
TEEX, a member of The Texas A&M University System, offers hands-on, customized first responder training, homeland security exercises, technical assistance and technology transfer services impacting Texas and beyond. TEEX programs include fire services, homeland security, law enforcement, public works, safety and health, search and rescue, and economic development.

Contact Information

Kathy Fraser

Associate Director of Marketing and Communications

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A member of the Texas A&M University System
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