COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) – Texas A&M Task Force 1 is gearing up for storms that are blowing through the state. In the Brazos Valley, heavy rain and isolated severe weather are expected over the next few days. The KBTX Weather Team expects about 6-8″ of rain to fall […]
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Texas A&M Task Force 1 is gearing up for storms that are blowing through the state.
In the Brazos Valley, heavy rain and isolated severe weather are expected over the next few days. The KBTX Weather Team expects about 6-8″ of rain to fall in the area in the next week, with 9-10″ localized totals.
With this risk of flooding, Texas A&M Task Force 1 Operations Chief Chuck Jones says they have deployed teams up near Dallas already, and another is deploying to the Waco area Monday evening.
“When we call [the teams] as we did this morning, they are ready to go, they are ready to respond,” said Jones. “They go to their station, they get the equipment that we have positioned in their fire stations, and they respond to the areas where we are putting them to be prepared for whatever emergency might happen for the rest of the day.”
Jones says this is the first time this year that the teams are being deployed around the state to help with weather-related impacts, but that doesn’t mean the team hasn’t been practicing for this year-round.
“We do training year-round. The training that we provide for our members is at the highest level,” said Jones. “This is not just your normal boat operator, you know ski on Saturday boat driving, this is emergency flood operations where we are in really fast-moving water with lots of debris, that we have to avoid because that’s what we get when we have these big flash floods.”
As bags are packed onto the high water rescue vehicles, Jones says it’s not just his team that needs to be ready, the community needs to be too.
“Make sure you have plenty of drinking water, make sure you have sustainable foods that you can pull out of the cabinet and have a meal,” said Jones. “If you’re going to be driving, make sure that you’re watching the roadways, make sure that you’re not distracted and drive into an unknown situation where the water may be deeper than what you think.”
Jones advises if you live in an area that typically floods with this much rain, it is better to evacuate early than be caught in it. If you are caught in a flood situation, he advises not trying to walk through the water, but get to high ground and call 911.
“Make sure you have water at home, make sure you have a radio of some type that you can listen in on, make sure that your batteries are charged on your cell phone and things of that nature so that if the power goes out for an extended time, like it did during this winter weather, that you’re prepared,” said Jones.
Using sandbags to keep your home or business safe from flooding can be useful. Local emergency management coordinators suggest purchasing some from a local hardware store.
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