SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – The Salt Lake Urban Search and Rescue Team already has a few staff in Hawaii to help FEMA with logistics. The rest of the team is waiting to see if they will be called in to assist. Those on the team say conditions in Hawaii will be different from other storms.
Cpt. Bryan Case is the leader of the team in Salt Lake which is portion of FEMA. He’s been thourght enough events like hurricanes to know the wind isn’t the biggest danger.
“It’s not a wind event, it’s a collapsed structure event and primarily a water rescue event,” said Cpt. Case. “Such as the areas around Houston Texas last year.”
Cpt. Case said every storm they respond to has it’s own challenges making it hard to get both in and out of areas.
“Houston last year the water situation was rather dynamic,” said Cpt. Case. “Some of the roads we took to get into certain areas were then blocked after we arrived so we had to find a way to get out of those areas.”
Unlike Houston, which was relatively flat, Hawaii’s mountains could make for a more dangerous flooding.
“You can expect more of that water will rush out quickly,” said Cpt. Case. “When it does rush out it will be far more violent typically speaking and more of a swift water operation.”
Although Hurricane Lane was reduced to a tropical story Friday evening, there could still be danger and a lot of clean up. FEMA notes they are still in Houston working with to fix some of the major infrastucure there. They said it’s too early to know how bad the damage will be in Hawaii.