COLLEGE STATION – Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) Water Rescue Teams were activated by the Texas Division of Emergency Management on March 8 and prepositioned for severe weather and widespread flooding in East Texas.
The deployment included nine boat squads, two water managers, two Situation Status (SITSTAT) personnel, four logistics specialists and two communications specialists with the Task Force communication trailer. Also deployed were three Agency Liaison Officers (LNOs) in the State Operations Center in Austin, an Agency LNO supporting Orange County, an Agency LNO in the Jasper Emergency Operations Center, and the SAR (Search and Rescue) Overhead Team in College Station.
The Sabine River rose to historic levels, displacing thousands of Texas and Louisiana residents. In Orange County alone, approximately 9,100 people were affected. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued disaster declarations for 21 counties.
TX-TF1 made a total of 15 water rescues, assisted 12 people out of water, and evacuated 200 residents to a safer location. Additionally, they were geo-marking the location of over 165 residents choosing to shelter-in-place. In support of the Federal PETS Act, TX-TF1 also rescued, assisted or evacuated a large number of cats, dogs and rabbits in the affected area.
TX-TF1 was demobilized on March 19.
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/