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Home : News
NEWS | Aug. 28, 2017

Another 1,000 Texas Guard members deployed to assist Tropical Storm Harvey response

By Jim Garamone DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON — Weather forecasters are saying the remnants of Hurricane Harvey are causing "catastrophic flooding" in Southeastern Texas, as about 3,000 Texas National Guard and Texas State Guard members have been called up to help their fellow citizens, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Sunday.

Abbott said 500 vehicles and 14 aircraft had been put into service.

Today, another 1,000 Guard troops will be sent to Houston, said USA Today, citing the governor.

Abbott praised the states that have pledged or offered National Guard assistance, including New York, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Florida, reported.

Kentucky's 123rd Airlift Wing was sending 18 Airmen who will assist in search and rescue missions, the Kentucky National Guard said.

Members of the Texas State Guard are mobilized to provide local shelter operations and provide a tracking system that helps evacuees locate loved ones checking into shelters.

"We are here to help our communities," said Brig. Gen. Patrick M. Hamilton, commander of the Domestic Operations Task Force. "Working alongside our partner agencies, and local first responders, we are focused on deploying Guardsmen and resources where they are needed to save lives."

Hurricane Harvey is the first hurricane to make a direct landfall on the Texas coast since 2008.

Harvey has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but the National Weather Service says the rain will continue. "This is really going to be an event that is going to continue to worsen," said Daniel Porter, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Harvey is the strongest storm to hit Texas since 1961, Abbott said. The governor said the federal government has provided all the assets the state has asked for. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is the lead federal agency working with the state and local officials -- 19 counties in the region have been declared disaster areas.

During a National Incident Communication Conference Call on Hurricane Harvey Saturday, FEMA requested the Defense Department provide a search and rescue package to the area. This consists of two planners, nine helicopters, two fixed wing aircraft and refuelers, and includes pararescue teams to operate from Joint Reserve Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas. In addition, DoD was asked to provide 11 generators and 50,000 gallons of gas and 50,000 gallons diesel to Fort Hood, Texas.

Contributing: National Guard Bureau