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Hurricane Harvey: Ohio Task Force 1 arrives in Texas

Published: Thursday, August 24, 2017 @ 11:11 PM
Updated: Saturday, August 26, 2017 @ 7:06 AM
By: Breaking News Staff

UPDATE @ 6:48 a.m. (Saturday)

Hurricane Harvey has been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane Saturday morning after making landfall around 11 p.m. Friday night as a Category 4 storm, according to the Associated Press.

WHIO’s Gabrielle Enright reports Ohio Task Force 1 is awaiting orders from FEMA for rescue assignments. Enright reports the task force may be asked to help with the flooding expected to come in the coming days.

Our news team in Texas is expected to meet up with the task force later today to learn more about their role in recovery efforts. 

UPDATE @ 11:55 p.m.

Ohio Task Force 1 has 49 members who arrived late tonight in San Antonio, Texas, ready for the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

The category 4 storm made landfall late tonight.

MORE: Inside Ohio Task Force 1

Flooding rains and high winds are expected to wreak havoc across the Texas coast. Local first responders will handle initial efforts. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will deploy Ohio Task Force 1 members where they are needed most. The task force has boats and expertise in water rescues.

News Center 7 reporter Gabrielle Enright and videographer Chuck Hamlin headed to Texas to follow the Ohio Task Force 1 urban search and rescue team’s efforts in Texas.

Ohio Task Force 1 left from Kettering early Friday. Its members hail from all over Ohio.

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UPDATE @ 8:15 p.m.

Ohio Task Force 1 has crossed into Texas and are on the way to San Antonio to provide support for the potentially life-threatening flooding from Hurricane Harvey, a catogory 4 storm expected to make landfall tonight.

The task force does not have an assigned mission. Local resources will handle any issues first, and then the Ohio Task Force 1 will provide support once the local resources are over-extended.

FIRST REPORT

Members of Ohio Task Force 1 are driving near Little Rock this hour on the way to San Antonio in preparation for Hurricane Harvey, which is expected to strike the coast of the Lone Star State late Friday or early Saturday.

Many of the members of the team are trained for swift water rescues, which could be valuable considering the amount of rain forecast for the state as the hurricane approaches and makes landfall.

News Center 7’s Gabrielle Enright and photographer Chuck Hamlin are following the team and have traveled with the task force several times in the past when they were activated for similar storms.

RELATED: Ohio Task Force 1 ends Hurricane Matthew deployment 

Forty-nine members are part of the activation group, which learned of their mission in a conference call Thursday night. The crew worked to load the task force vehicles before they left their Kettering base Friday morning.

The task force is expected to arrive in San Antonio sometime around 10 p.m. Friday and could be moved depending on where their skills may be needed.

RELATED: Harvey now a hurricane, expected to slam into East Texas

In 2016, Ohio Task Force 1 was activated for a six-day deployment prompted by Hurricane Matthew. Eighty-three members of the task force rescued 100 people and more than two-dozen animals in the areas of Fayetteville and Lumberton, N.C.