STATION – Members of Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) have had a busy hurricane
season so far, most recently returning from a FEMA deployment to Puerto Rico
after Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory. Simultaneously, water
rescue teams were deployed in response to flash flooding in Southwest Texas. Those
deployments came on the heels of 14 days of search and rescue, evacuation and
life-safety operations across Texas after Hurricane Harvey made landfall on
Aug. 25 as a category 4 hurricane, and then a major tropical storm that dropped
over 51 inches of rain on the state.
A few TX-TF1
members were in Florida, assisting FEMA task forces in the wake of Hurricane
Irma, when another call came in. FEMA activated TX-TF1 as a federal resource to
respond to Puerto Rico, where Hurricane Maria made landfall as a Category 4
storm on Sept. 20. TX-TF1 sent a Type-4
team to join other FEMA US&R Task Forces on the island to conduct search
and rescue, welfare checks, situational awareness and damage assessments for
local and territorial leadership. The Red Incident Support Team (IST) provided
support for FEMA Task Forces both in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,
where Maria made landfall a day earlier.
On Sept. 26,
the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) activated TX-TF1 Water Rescue
assets in response to heavy rains and flash flooding near Big Bend Park and Del
Rio, along the Rio Grande and Pecos River. Some areas received as much as 20
inches of rainfall. TX-TF1 helped local responders evacuate people cut off by
flooding, including workers from oil rigs, and performed welfare checks.
demobilized from these events, but with hurricane season still in full swing,
the team stands ready to support local jurisdictions requiring assistance in
the next weather event or other disaster.
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. The team can be activated by the Texas Division of Emergency Management or as one of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s 28 sanctioned urban search and rescue teams.
the Texas Task Force 1 Website: www.texastaskforce1.org/
Texas Task Force 1 on Facebook: www.facebook.com/txtf1