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Utah Task Force One deploys to Texas amid Hurricane Harvey destruction

Local News
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – The remnants of Hurricane Harvey continue to wreak havoc in South Texas and now parts of Louisiana. 
 
FEMA reached out to Utah Task Force One as the storm took aim and slammed into Texas. 
 
In sunny Salt Lake City, it’s hard to imagine this level of devastation. Hurricane Harvey is a storm of epic proportion. For perspective, rainfall for the year in Salt Lake City averages 16.1 inches. That’s for an entire year.
 
Harvey storm totals are no topping 30 inches with more rain on the way. It’s that amount of water, Utah crews are wading through to provide aid. 
 
“They weren’t expecting it to be this bad, even though the Weather Channel said it was going to be bad, they just didn’t think it was going to be this bad, and it came in so quick,” said Frankie Grant, the training manager for Utah Task Force One.
 
Harvey is still harassing Houston and holding other Texas and now Louisiana cities hostage with record rain and even rescue crews are struggling. 
 
“There are some tornadoes happening. They’ve had to take cover underneath bridges as the tornado passes over. The rain today was quite amazing, and they had to stop all operations until the rain would let up,” said Grant.  
 
Utah Task Force One train year-round for conditions like this. The group of 46 deployed Thursday, an activation order from Washington DC. Local firefighters make up the urban search and rescue group. 
 
“We have to have a doctor, a structural engineer, two dogs, those are the special key pieces. If we don’t have those, we don’t accept the activation order,” 
 
The team packs the bare necessities and they are some of the folks you’ve seen maneuvering boats through the flood waters. 
 
“We pride ourselves on being prepared for what we do. To have that opportunity to go and do what we trained for in the real world, this is a big deal for all of us,” said Grant. 
 
The task force has no set date to come home, but it’s clear the Beehive sent some of their best help. 
 
“We just genuinely like to help people. That’s why we are part of the fire department, that’s why we are part of the task force, it’s just in our nature,” said Grant. 
 
For more information on relief for Harvey, click here
 

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