DALLAS - First responders from North Texas have been deployed to the Texas coast to help out with rescue missions. Volunteers are also gearing up to help if needed.
Tropical Storm Beta is bringing gusty winds and flooding rain across Southeast Texas. Coastal counties are the main concern.
The state has deployed the Texas Task Force, like a special operations team of firefighters, to perform search and rescue, in water and on land and clear damage and debris as needed.
Eighteen Dallas firefighters traveled down south as part of the mission.
“They’re awaiting the floodwaters. They have boats,” said Jim McDade with Dallas Fire-Rescue. “They’ll probably be doing more search and rescue type stuff after the fact. Going door to door to any area that is affected.”
The Dallas Fire-Rescue members staged in Victoria overnight Monday. They may move farther east after Beta makes landfall.
“They’re gone for two weeks straight. Once the phone rings, they get their stuff and they’re gone,” McDade said. “They don’t come home for a couple weeks and they work the whole time they’re gone. It’s definitely not easy, but that’s what these guys volunteer for.”
Meanwhile, volunteers with Texas Baptist Men are also standing by for Beta. Many of them have just returned home from responding to Hurricane Laura. They completed 500 chainsaw jobs and handed out 50,000 meals.
“What we are expecting is flooding,” said Rand Jenkins. “So what we’ve done is put our flood recovery teams, our assessors and our feeding units on standby and on alert.”
Dozens of DFW-area firefighters remain in California fighting wildfires as Beta takes aim at Texas.
“Last three months, you have Laura, Sally, Tropical Storm Beta, Hurricane Hanna, wildfires both in Texas and California,” McDade said. “These guys are very busy.”
The teams of firefighters that are deployed by the state are reimbursed by the state or FEMA.
There are still enough firefighters here in Dallas to remain fully staffed.