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The twelve TX DOT employees in a caravan of heavy equipment rolled out of South Austin Thursday morning. They’re were heading for a staging area in San Antonio. Once there, the team will wait for the storm that’s been churning in the gulf for the past several days.
“What we want to do is get ahead of this, in case it grows and becomes more stable and provides a more powerful punch for the gulf coast. So we want to deploy early, there are a lot of lessons learned for Harvey, we are real proud of the job we did,” said TXDOT spokesperson Brad Wheelis.
During Hurricane Harvey, rescues were done by high profile vehicles.
While the main mission for the TXDOT trucks heading to south Texas now will be debris removal the teams will be available for rescues. “Our crews train for this type of event and they are prepared for anything, primarily we will be used for debris removal, but if we see folks who need to be rescued we will reach out and help our fellow Texans,” said Wheelis.
TxDOT not only has dump trucks and dozers, they also have boats they’re located in districts all across the state. These boats in Austin will most likely stay in the Austin area.
At DPS headquarters, the state’s Emergency Operations Center Thursday morning moved to level 2 status. That’s classified as escalated response conditions. Those working in this room work with local officials on a coordinated response according to DPS spokesperson Sgt. Robbie Barrera.
“We are in the right place and ready for whatever happens. Along with those High Profile vehicles we do have air assets aerial in the event we have to do any air operations,” said Sgt. Barrera.
Strike teams from the parks and wildlife department are expected to play a critical role.
The specialized boats along with swift water rescue units were used during hurricane Ike and Harvey. Those teams are moving beyond San Antonio, beyond the TXDOT units that left Austin.
They will stage up just north of Corpus Christi.