Texas Task Force 1 experiences busy hurricane season, stands ready for next storm

10/18/2017 12:00 AM

COLLEGE 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.

TX-TF1 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.

Visit the Texas Task Force 1 Websitewww.texastaskforce1.org/ 

Follow Texas Task Force 1 on Facebook: www.facebook.com/txtf1 

Contact Information

Kathy Fraser

Director of Marketing and Communications

© Copyright 2019 Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
A member of the Texas A&M University System