Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officers and resources are heading to Texas to help with search and rescue and disaster response in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. According to the National Weather Service, the storm is dumping unprecedented amounts of rainfall along the Texas coast, and is now predicting as much as 50 inches of rain in parts of the Texas coast, which includes Houston and Galveston, by the end of the week.
“Isolated storm totals may reach 50 inches in this region,” the service said in an update issued Sunday. “These rains are currently producing catastrophic and life-threatening flooding, and flash flood emergencies are in effect for portions of southeastern Texas.”
In response to a request from Texas officials calling for emergency assistance, Governor Rick Scott tapped FWC Major Jay Russell to lead Florida’s relief effort, which will include twenty-five FWC officers, 17 high water vehicles, two Mobile Command Centers, eight shallow draft vessels and four patrol boats, which began response efforts in the Houston area immediately after arrival Sunday morning.
“Floridians know firsthand how damaging a storm can be for families and communities, and how important it is to have the support of nearby states during these challenging times,” Scott said in a press release announcing the aid effort. “That is why I am immediately sending FWC officers and resources to respond to Texas’ request for emergency assistance following the impact of Hurricane Harvey. These officers and resources have been staged in Pensacola and we have been closely monitoring this storm and working with Texas to make sure we can offer any assistance they may need. This evening, I also spoke with FWC Major Jay Russell to wish him the best and let him know that all of Florida stands behind him and these brave FWC officers. I encourage all Floridians to continue to offer support and prayer for Texas families and communities.”