COLLEGE STATION — Texas Task Force 1’s urban search and rescue and water strike teams received demobilization orders Tuesday from the Hurricane Katrina response and will return to their College Station headquarters Wednesday afternoon following a week of search and rescue operations in New Orleans.
The two teams were involved in approximately 7,000 rescues and evacuations in the downtown New Orleans area, including more than 50 on Tuesday. Texas Task Force 1 has had 129 personnel involved in the Katrina response, including 80 with the urban search and rescue team, 41 with the water strike team and additional personnel serving in various capacities with FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security and the Texas State Operations Center.
The water strike team is expected to arrive in College Station Wednesday at approximately 2 p.m. at the general aviation area of Easterwood Airport (near the intersection of FM2818 and George Bush Dr.). The urban search and rescue team is expected no earlier than 4 p.m. Wednesday. For families wishing to greet the teams, parking and shuttle buses will be available at the Brayton Fire Training Field (Gate B) off Nuclear Science Road.
Texas Task Force 1’s urban search and rescue team was initially deployed on Saturday, Aug. 27 in advance of Katrina’s landfall the following Monday. The Task Force is one of 28 national urban search and rescue teams under FEMA. Texas Task Force 1’s water strike team was deployed Monday, Aug. 29 by the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management as a mutual aid agreement with Louisiana.
The Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), a member of The Texas A&M System, serves as the sponsoring agency for Texas Task Force 1.