In response to federal activation orders, many dozens of firefighters, urban search and rescue teams, along with dogs and support personnel, have been mobilized from across the Southland and deployed to Texas to join in rescue efforts and confront the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, now a tropical storm dumping high volumes of water on the Lone Star state.
The Los Angeles Fire Department dispatched California Task Force I, its urban search and rescue team consisting of 70 people, plus 10 logistics and support personnel accompanied by specially trained dogs and assorted equipment to Houston, said fire department spokesman Brian Humphrey.
The task force assembled at Fire Station 88 at 5101 Sepulveda Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, said Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. From there they were dispatched to Texas Saturday night, she said.
The Orange Fire Authority activated its California Task force 5 and sent it to San Antonio from Irvine Friday evening. By Sunday afternoon the OC task force had logged in hundreds of high water rescues, according to the OCFA.
On Sunday, the City of Riverside announced it was sending its California Task Force 6, a swift water rescue team of 14 members, to Houston to aid in rescue and recovery operations, Riverside fire Capt. Dave McClellan says.
Also on Sunday, the Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatched a 15- member Swiftwater Rescue Team to Houston to help deal with rescue efforts across east Texas, said Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Keith Mora.
So far, Harvey has claimed at least five lives but that total was expected to rise. Thousands of people were being rescued by firefighters, law enforcement and even their neighbors from high water and flooded neighborhoods expected to get worse as rain continues to pound Texas.
—City News Service
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