FEDweek

Services Step Forward To Help Storm-Ravaged Areas

As the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast was still reeling from floodwaters dumped there by Hurricane Harvey, active and reserve components of the five armed services and the National Guard continued to help. Air Force Gen. James C. Witham, director of domestic operations for the National Guard Bureau and deputy director of the Air National Guard, announced that 4,000 Texas Guard members were activated as of Aug. 30 – with the number expected to rise as high as 12,000. They bring to the relief effort more than 500 vehicles, many capable of operating in three feet of water. Thirty Guard helicopters were providing search-and-rescue and medevac support as well, with their number expect to rise as high as 100 aircraft. Additionally, Guard units from as far away as New York and California are providing assistance. The Coast Guard has positioned 52 personnel in a command center in New Orleans, from where relief efforts are being coordinated. As of Aug. 30, the service announced that some tugs and barges with shallow drafts could resume operations in the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas. The service also urged persons in need of help to call 911 for assistance – and not rely upon Twitter or other social media.