COLLEGE STATION — Search and rescue team Texas Task Force 1 continued damage and needs assessments throughout Southeast Texas on Sunday in the wake of Hurricane Rita, while its water strike squads monitored water conditions along the Trinity River below the Livingston Dam.
The water strike squads worked along the Trinity River notifying residents of potential flooding and offering evacuation assistance. Team members also assisted the City of Deweyville in re-establishing its emergency communications systems.
Texas Task Force 1 has received numerous compliments from other national resources for the team’s planning, preparation and coordination of Rita’s search and rescue operations. The team expects to transition operations related to Rita to the local emergency response agencies within the next few days.
Damage from Rita was as severe as predicted, with Texas Task Force 1 encountering primarily downed power lines, toppled signs and trees, broken windows and isolated flooding throughout the region. The team assisted in 13 rescues on Saturday, including a TV crew from Tyler that was stranded in Port Arthur’s floodwaters and a mother with two special needs children whose house was flooded.
The Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), a member of The Texas A&M University System, serves as the sponsoring agency of Texas Task Force 1.