Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday (Aug. 28) sent 14 members of the Arkansas National Guard’s civil support team to Kingwood, Texas, to help in the rescue efforts in the Houston area as remnants of Hurricane Harvey continue to drop torrents of rain along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Hutchinson spokesman J.R. Davis said members of National Guard’s 61st Civil Support team are headed to the Houston suburb where they will assess and test air and water quality in areas affected by flooding from Hurricane Harvey.
In addition, the Arkansas National Guard also deployed two C-130 Hercules transport planes to Portland, Ore., to pick up rescue personnel and equipment to transfer to Fort Hood military base in Killeen, Texas, which is serving as a staging area for search and rescue teams that have pulled thousands of people from floodwaters in the greater Houston area.
Davis said Gov. Hutchinson will get ongoing daily updates at 5 p.m. from state National Guard officials at Camp Robinson on any additional ways Arkansas can assist in the operations.
“That is the support we have provided from the Arkansas National Guard. That may or may not increase as we play it by ear every afternoon,” Davis said. “He’s updated continually on the situation in Houston and how that impacts Arkansas and ways we can help.”
Members of the 61st Civil Support Team, based at Camp Robinson, can support civil authorities in a wide-range of emergency missions, ranging from domestic chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive incidents to natural disasters. The unit is made up of full time Arkansas Army and Air National Guardsman, who remain on call for quick deployment in support of civil authorities anywhere in the state, or nation, at the behest of the governor.