SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Firefighters and aid workers throughout the Bay Area are being deployed to the Texas coast in response to Tropical Storm Harvey, which has dumped more than 50 inches of rain and made landfall in the Houston area as a hurricane Friday.
California Task Force 3, a Federal Emergency Management Agency water rescue team comprised of 14 specially trained firefighters from Menlo Park, Palo Alto, San Mateo, San Jose and South San Francisco, was scheduled to arrive in San Antonio around 6 a.m. Tuesday.
Task Force 3 brought five vehicles, 10 boats and three drones to assist in the recovery effort, according to Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.
A water rescue crew from Oakland, working as part of California Task Force 4, also responded to Texas and arrived Monday, Oakland firefighters said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the historic flooding has already prompted at least 3,000 water rescues, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
The Salvation Army is sending Capt. John Kelley from the Hayward Corps, as well as Capt. Randy Clarke and Maj. Sheryl Clarke from the Antioch Corps, to provide emotional and spiritual support from Wednesday through Sept. 12.
The Salvation Army has had 50 mobile kitchens deployed to affected areas in Texas and had served more than 6,250 meals as of Monday night.
Individuals wishing to make a financial contribution can donate to the Salvation Army at www.helpsalvationarmy.org or by calling (800) 725-2769. Anyone wishing to send contributions by mail can do so by sending donations to “Hurricane Harvey,” Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1959, Atlanta GA 30301.
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation has compiled a list of nonprofits responding to the Hurricane Harvey at www.siliconvalleycf.org/harvey.
Several Bay Area elected officials have also issued statements of support for people affected by the storm and encouraged donations to the relief effort.
“Hurricane Harvey has devastated Houston and the worst is yet to come,” Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese said in a statement.
“We may not be affected by this but we are part of this American family, and we will do what we can to support those who are in great need,” Cortese said. “That is what we as Americans do for one another.”
“We stand together with the people of Houston and Southeast Texas during their time of need,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement.
“Here in San Jose, we remain all too familiar with the pain and challenges that follow natural disasters, and we will continue to do whatever we can to help our brothers and sisters in Texas recover.”
“As the heartbreaking destruction from Hurricane Harvey continues to unfold, the people of San Francisco are ready to act and support our fellow Americans in their time of need,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement. “San Francisco is a city painfully familiar with natural disasters, so when we witness these events take place, we feel a special obligation to help.”