Ahead of South Texas tropical wave, State Operations Center prepares
With a tropical wave quickly approaching the South Texas Coast, the Texas State Operations Center has set up shop at the DPS Headquarters in Austin, ready to mobilize rescue crews.
Local, state, and federal agencies are gathered there, planning and communicating with rescue crews they may send to the coast.
"We've called in our local partners, state partners and federal partners in the event we have a lot of heavy rainfall on the coastal areas," said DPS Trooper Robbie Barrera.
Inside the operations center, there are radar maps monitoring the tropical wave.
Agencies are paying attention to those, and determining which crews need to be sent down.
"We can get those assets there, that agency there rapidly," Barrera said.
Texas Task Force 1 is one crew being sent down. They are sending 50 crew members to South Texas, including seven Austin firefighters.
AFD Division Chief Palmer Buck's crew is heading to Kingsville. He says they're ready to perform water rescues if necessary. "We get a lot of curveballs thrown at us, where the water might rise, what kind of conditions we might get into with flooding in all sorts of different areas," Buck said.
Buck says his crew will be on high alert because they know how quickly rain can turn to floods. But they're prepared. He says their experience during Harvey and other recent events has helped prepare them. This is their third deployment in two months. "We have well-experienced, well-seasoned crews that have responded all over the state," Buck said.