City of Arlington Assisting Gulf Coast Communities Devastated by Hurricane Harvey
By Susan Schrock
Posted on August 28, 2017, August 28, 2017
Devastated by Hurricane Harvey

Arlington fire fighter Kitt Woody carries a young child out of flood waters in Houston. Woody is among first responders from the City of Arlington who are providing assistance to Gulf Coast communities affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Photo credit: Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle

From deploying highly trained first responders to providing parking space for buses bringing evacuees to the safety of North Texas shelters, the City of Arlington stands ready to help Houston and Gulf Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

Since Friday, the Office of Emergency Management has been in close communication with local and state partners to provide resources as needed. As part of Texas Task Force 1, Arlington firefighters have assisted in rescue efforts in multiple parts of Southeast Texas since Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Friday. One of those firefighters, Kitt Woody, was photographed by media on Sunday carrying a young child out of flood waters in Houston.

With the continued rain fall and ongoing flooding, Assistant Fire Chief David Stapp said Arlington's firefighters will assist in the Gulf Coast region as long as requested by the state.

";This is a time of unprecedented disaster," Stapp said. ";It's our moral obligation to step up and help."

On Monday, the State of Texas began requesting additional resources from the City of Arlington, Emergency Management Administrator Irish Hancock said. One of Arlington's roles in state disaster response is to serve as a Vehicle Replenishment Point. Starting today, Arlington will provide parking for the multiple buses that are bringing thousands of evacuees to shelters across the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including the mega shelter at The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.

";All buses being brought here carrying evacuees will be parked in Arlington until they are deployed for other needs or until they take the evacuees back home," Hancock said.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has also requested the Arlington Police Department send officers to provide security at shelters.

Although an official request has not yet been received from the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System, the Arlington Fire Department is also preparing to deploy engine companies to provide needed assistance.

";Arlington is standing by and ready to assist Houston and the Gulf Coast region as needed," Hancock said. ";As soon as the official request comes, we will be sending crews."

Arlington public safety officials had been preparing for the possibility that the August 29-31 Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros games would be held in Arlington's Entertainment District instead of Houston because of flooding. Those games, however, are being relocated to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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Hurricane Harvey, Office of Emergency Management
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