Nashville, Tenn. – Swiftwater search and rescue teams representing the State of Tennessee will make their way toward southeast Texas this afternoon to conduct life-saving operations to help local authorities dealing with the unprecedented impact of Hurricane Harvey, now a tropical storm.
“Tennessee and Texas have a long and storied connection and we are proud to help in any way we can. I am proud of these first responders for stepping up to help those affected during their time of need,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said. “We know all too well the damage and destruction from floods and other natural disasters, and just as other states supported us in trying times, I know all Tennesseans want to do whatever we can to help Texas in this time of need.”
The eight deploying search and rescue teams, plus one support team, from Tennessee hail from 20 city, county, and state jurisdictions.
The Tennessee teams will conduct search, rescue, and recovery missions to aid survivors and animals trapped in swift-water and flooded areas of southeast Texas. The teams are equipped to provide basic life support, medical care, and transportation of survivors and animals to safety.
TEMA is sending two district coordinators to assist with coordination and support of the teams throughout the deployment in southeast Texas
The State of Texas issued a resource request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) network Tuesday for 100 swift-water rescues crews to conduct operations in the state for eight days.
TEMA began assembling the seven Tennessee teams for the request Tuesday afternoon working with local emergency management agencies and the coordinator for the Tennessee Association of Fire Chiefs’ Mutual Aid System.
Southeast Texas continues to experience historic flooding, from the record-breaking rainfall of Tropical Storm Harvey. Houston, Texas, has recorded 52 inches of rainfall from Harvey since Saturday. Harvey made landfall for a third time this morning near Cameron, La.
Harvey’s remnants are expected to impact Tennessee through Saturday morning. Heavy rainfall of up four inches or more of may cause flash flooding in some areas of Tennessee into the weekend.
TEMA continues to monitor Harvey’s forecast track and impact through the agency’s 24-hour Watch Point.