TALLAHASSEE, Florida (KXAN) — As Hurricane Matthew dumps rain on Florida, teams from Texas are trying to help the state respond.
“Mostly what we work is wildfires,” said Boo Walker, coordinator for the Texas A&M Forest Service All-Hazards Incident Management Teams.” However, this year earlier we were involved with the floods down in the south part of Texas and in central Texas. We responded to tornadoes and Hurricane Ike.”
Walker spoke with KXAN from the road as his team of nine people entered Florida. Their first stop in the state was Tallahassee for briefings at the state’s emergency operations center. Then he said they would likely focus on badly hit parts of the state.
“Right now, they are looking at sheltering people, points of distribution where they can get food, water, and ice until the stores are back up. There’s a lot of power down in the area,” said Walker. “We’ll be coordinating with the electric companies trying to prioritize the areas to get turned back on.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott approved the assistance to Florida Thursday. Walker says there was also a second team of nine people heading to the state, in addition to his.
Because Florida requested the aid, that state will also be responsible for paying for the assistance from Texas, according to the Governor’s Office.