By Jeff Todd
(CBS4) – Before Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas and Louisiana Coasts, 42 members of the Colorado Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue team were mobilized.
As the floodwaters rose, the type three team worked out of Beaumont, Texas.
“Our specialties are in search and rescue, but there we’re setting up humanitarian aid at the evacuation center,” said program coordinator Rod Tyus. “They put over 2,000 people through that evacuation center in two days.”
The team was headed home on Wednesday when the orders came in to reroute to Alabama to prepare for Hurricane Irma. A total of 40 more people including medics, and K-9 units left from Lakewood Wednesday to join the team already deployed, making the Colorado contingent a Type One team.
“You never know what a hurricane is going to bring, could be wind damage could be flooding, could be storm surge,” Tyus said.
The team will likely regroup in Alabama, but doesn’t know its exact mission yet, as Irma looks like it could impact a majority of the Eastern Seaboard.
Tyus said he’s going to continue monitoring the team and communicating with them daily from Colorado.
“I don’t want to say you get worried about them, but you want to be reassured everything is OK and they’re doing good,” he said.
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Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.