Responders around the country are converging on Texas to assist in rescue and recovery efforts during Tropical Storm Harvey, which has battered and left Houston and the Gulf Coast submerged for days. New Yorkers have been part of those ranks since the weekend, and the state is now sending additional help.
“As our neighbors in the South continue to grapple with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, I am deploying additional personnel and equipment to assist in continued search-and-rescue operations," Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday. “New Yorkers are no strangers to the destruction that can come at the hands of Mother Nature, and we are prepared to continue to support these efforts in any way we can.”
A search-and-rescue aircraft carrying 15 airmen from the 106th Rescue Wing will arrive at Fort Hood Tuesday afternoon, joining the 104 responders that were dispatched on Saturday with rescue aircrafts and watercrafts. Six air and water teams aided in the rescue of 255 residents in Houston and nearby Katy, Texas, on Monday.
Additionally, more than 50 members of FDNY units have been deployed to Texas to assist in rescue efforts, including the Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR) New York Task Force-1, Incident Management Team (IMT) and Disaster Assistance Response Team.
“We’re in the disaster zone,” Silvana Uzcategui, a USAR rescue paramedic, said in a statement on Monday. “We’re expecting torrential rains, winds, floods and chaotic conditions, and we’re ready for it.”
FDNY Deputy Chief Dean Koester anticipates the IMT to reach its maximum deployment of 14 days “based on my past experience.”
Record-setting rain in Texas
According to the NOAA, Harvey has brought more than 49 inches to Texas, making it the heaviest storm total rainfall from any tropical cyclone in the continental U.S. in recorded history. The previous record came in 1978 in Medina, Texas during Tropical Storm Amelia, weather.com reported.
Will New York City be next with Tropical Storm Irma?
At press time, potential Tropical Cyclone 10 is off the North Carolina coast and could evolve into Tropical Storm Irma by midweek, according to Accuweather.
Though it is expected to remain nontropical, it is heading northeast, Faye Morrone, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s New York branch, told Metro.
“In our area here, the biggest impact is expected to be on the water, so there is a high rip current risk on south-facing shores in New York City and Long Island and high surf,” Morrone added.
Potential Tropical Cyclone 10 was expected to bring rain Tuesday afternoon to the New York metro region, “which should clear out by [Wednesday] morning.” Morrone said, “but we can expect some gusty northeast winds, which are typical of a spring or fall coastal storm.”