Texas A&M Forest Service responding to epic flooding of Southeast Texas

COLLEGE STATION –  As torrential rainfall from Tropical Depression Imelda brings life-threatening flooding, responders from Texas A&M Forest Service are leading primary Incident Management Teams, IMT, in Southeast Texas.

An eight-person Incident Planning Section is en route to the Beaumont Disaster District Committee. The team is comprised of four Texas A&M Forest Service responders and four Regional Incident Management Team responders from across Texas. 

During regional events like Imelda, county judges and emergency management coordinators field vast and sometimes overwhelming requests. Texas A&M Forest Service works with the Texas Division of Emergency Management,  local Disaster District Committees and Texas responders to deploy to regional and state incidents. 

“While Texas A&M Forest Service is most known for responding to wildfires, we are also active participants in the state’s response to all types of disasters,” said Les Rogers, Texas A&M Forest Service incident response department head. “We are always prepared to assist local government and communities in their time of need.”

Texas A&M Forest Service is leading an All-Hazard IMT made-up of Regional IMT responders in Harden County to assist their Emergency Operations Center and has additional All-Hazard IMTs and chainsaw crews available on standby. 

Agency employees are also in Austin staffing the State Operations Center as the emergency service branch director and the fire emergency service function coordinator for the state’s Emergency Management Council.

“With such a sudden and major event, we are fortunate to live in a state with the level of preparedness and coordination that Texas has,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Chief Operating Officer Don Galloway. “Texas A&M Forest Service is always ready to serve as part of the state’s response, coordinated through the Texas Division of Emergency Management.”

IMTs are composed of personnel who are trained to manage or assist in the management of emergency response operations. An IMT provides coordination and control infrastructure to handle a wide range of emergencies from human-caused to natural disasters. The size of an IMT is contingent on the severity of the incident and the needs of the affected jurisdiction. Texas currently has 18 IMTs regionally located around the state. 

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