Task force of area firefighters deploying to Texas


They're in Texas helping those hit by Hurricane Harvey and the following flooding.

The hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm on August 26, but "catastrophic and life-threatening" flooding continued in southeastern Texas and parts of southwestern Louisiana through Tuesday, the NWS said.

The Raleigh and Fayetteville teams will meet Thursday morning at the Raleigh Fire Training Center at 105 Keeter Center Drive and depart together at 10 a.m. for the trip to Texas.

By Tuesday, 30 to 45 inches of rain had fallen on Texas, potentially setting a US record for a rain storm, with an additional 10 inches expected through Thursday, according to forecasters.

Nevada Task Force One - comprising volunteers from Las Vegas Fire and Rescue, North Las Vegas Fire Department, Henderson Fire Department, Clark County Fire Department, police officers and local civilians - was to be utilized for its expertise in swift-water rescues, according to Timothy Szymanski, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue spokesman. "That is very different from other hurricane response deployments, because typically, the hurricane comes ashore, the storm does its thing, and then it moves on".

The Fairfax County team will assist with water rescues using seven boats.

Dozens of team members are deployed along with six boats for water rescues.

If the team is deployed they could be in Texas throughout the early part of September.

Their boats with the big fans can get to areas other boats can't.

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The team will "search for people who may be injured or in need of medical attention, provide basic life support and assist with the rescue efforts as necessary", a statement released by the county Wednesday night said.

The combined city and county personnel and equipment will form a Type 1 Swift Water Rescue Team, which is the highest level.

"Vermont benefited greatly six years ago right now from EMAC when we brought in resources to help with the debris removal, road fix and all sorts of areas where we just did not have the resources in state", Herrick said.

The deployment can last up to 14 days, with two travel days on either end, for a potential of 18 days. Crew members are also sometimes rotated out.

Donations to the Red Cross can be made through their website redcross.org or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

The number of Harvey victims is expected to rise as recovery efforts continue. That's a large, planned community Northeast of Houston. It accepts donations through its website portlight.org.

"They're going a long way and they're well needed down there", he said.

Scott said the state of Texas or the Federal Emergency Management Agency will eventually reimburse Vermont for costs.