Virginia Department of Forestry sends recovery team to Texas

By  | 

ABINGDON, Va. (WDBJ7) Rescue efforts are underway in Texas as the remnants of Hurricane Harvey continue to pour over the state. At least five people are confirmed dead, CBS is reporting a family of six is feared dead, and thousands of others were forced from their homes.

People in our hometowns are looking for ways to help. One way is by going to Texas themselves.

A team of about 20 from the Virginia Department of Forestry left together Monday afternoon from Abingdon headed to Beeville, Texas, a small town west of Houston. What they'll be doing depends on how much relief is needed.

"Our final goal hasn't been tasked yet but it could be from helping locals recover their homes, distributing supplies at a distribution center for water, ice, meals," said Russell Proctor with the Virginia Department of Forestry. He's responded to help with hurricane recovery before.

"I've been to Hurricane Katrina. We have our own hurricane recovery inside Virginia. We can manage anything," Proctor said.

The incident management team with members from across the state is prepared for a two week trip and packed up a trailer full of gear. Each worker has his own expertise, as a group they'll be able to tackle any task.

"We spend a lot of time training and getting ready for these disasters and wildfires and so it is nice to be able to utilize that training," said Chris Sullivan, with the Virginia Department of Forestry.

The group is headed to Tennessee Monday night and will start working in Texas Wednesday.

The Texas Department of Forestry requested Virginia's help because of their experience and training in disasters.

The Virginia Department of Forestry is no stranger to helping with disasters. A team helped fight fires out west this summer.