SA Fire Chief: Harvey Rescue Effort Will be 'Bigger Than Katrina'

Aftermath Hurricane Harvey

Aftermath Hurricane Harvey

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood says the recovery from Tropical Storm Harvey will be more difficult from the recovery from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, for one major reason, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"This is going to be a bigger rescue effort than Katrina, just because of the persistent rain," Hood said.  "The challengers we are looking at now, when you look at Houston, the challenge there is, its still raining."

Hood says numerous firefighters as well as swift water rescue crews have deployed to Houston to help in the rescue effort there, and other San Antonio Fire Department personnel are in the Victoria area.  He says the expected influx of evacuees into San Antonio today will also require deployment of SAFD assets.  He says many people who arrive at emergency shelters are in need of medical attention, and it will be his department's priority to provide that attention.

But he says for Houston, the disaster will go on for days.  He points out that in Katrina, the flooding was due to the levees breaking, and the sky was clear during the flooding in August of 2005.  With Harvey, heavy rains are persisting, which will make helicopter rescue flights far more difficult.

"The advantage we had in Katrina is it didn't rain a drop after the levees broke," he said. "We had the ability to operate about 1600 sorties of helicopters."

Hood says that will be far more difficult in Houston, and many rescues will have to be accomplished by boat, which is far slower and far more dangerous.

News Radio 1200 WOAI · San Antonio's News, Traffic and Weather

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