Tropical Storm Harvey relief efforts getting assist from NYPD, FDNY

The storm has has lingered around Texas’ Gulf Coast, drenching parts of the region with a year’s worth of rain

The people of Texas will get a helping hand from New York as Tropical Storm Harvey continues to devastate the southeastern part of the state.

New York City on Sunday deployed the Office of Emergency Management’s Urban Search & Rescue New York Task Force One to Houston. The 80-member unit includes representatives of the NYPD and FDNY, as well as EMS responders.

The FDNY is sending 40 members of its Incident Management Team to the city as well, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“After Superstorm Sandy, so many cities stepped up to help our people. We’ll do all we can to help those affected by this storm,” he tweeted Sunday.

The city’s task force also includes boats and other equipment from the first responder teams. A spokesman for the NYPD said they sent 33 Emergency Service Unit officers and six K-9 officers to Houston.

On Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo deployed aircraft, vessels, and service members from the 106th Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard to Texas and Louisiana to assist with the relief efforts.

“New Yorkers first-hand know the damage Mother Nature can cause, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with Louisiana and Texas as they brace for Hurricane Harvey,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Houston was facing worsening historic flooding Monday as Harvey dumped more rain on the city, swelling rivers to record levels and forcing federal engineers to release water from area reservoirs in hopes of controlling the rushing currents.

Harvey, the most powerful storm to strike Texas in more than 50 years, first hit land as a Category 4 hurricane late on Friday and has killed at least two people. It since downgraded to a tropical storm and has lingered around Texas’ Gulf Coast, where it is forecast to remain for several more days, drenching parts of the region with a year’s worth of rain in the span of a week.

Schools, airports and office buildings in the nation’s fourth largest city were ordered shut on Monday as scores of roads turned into rivers and chest-high water filled neighborhoods in the low-lying city that is home to about 2.3 million people. 

More than 30,000 people are expected to be placed temporarily in shelters, FEMA Administrator Brock Long said at a news conference.

With Reuters

Ivan Pereira