Arizona National Guard, Phoenix Fire send crews for Hurricane Harvey

Aug 26, 2017, 4:53 PM | Updated: 7:30 pm
A truck in flood waters passes a home damaged in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2...
A truck in flood waters passes a home damaged in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Aransas Pass, Texas. Harvey rolled over the Texas Gulf Coast on Saturday, smashing homes and businesses and lashing the shore with wind and rain so intense that drivers were forced off the road because they could not see in front of them. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Army National guard and Phoenix Fire Department each announced Saturday that they had sent crews to Texas to aid with response efforts to Hurricane Harvey.

The Arizona National Guard said it had sent four helicopters and crews. FEMA activated the Pheonix Fire Department’s Arizona Task Force 1 urban search and rescue team.

The National Guard crews will be on standby once they’re in Texas. They launched from Papago Park Military Reservation on Saturday. The Phoenix Fire Department’s task force will go to San Antonio.

“More than a dozen Arizona National Guard soldiers, a UH-72 Lakota helicopter and three UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters will join other Army National Guard aviation assets as part of a rotary wing pool prepared to quickly respond if requested,” a statement said.

“Phoenix sends not only our prayers to Texas, we’re sending a team of our best people to help save lives,” said Mayor Greg Stanton in a statement.

Phoenix Fire search and rescue teams have assisted in disaster cleanup efforts before, a statement said, including the Oklahoma City bombing, 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane Harvey, which was downgraded to a tropical storm Saturday after making landfall on Friday night, was a Category 4 hurricane that struck areas near Corpus Christie, Texas.

A Texas mayor said Saturday morning there were homes and business heavily damaged and even completely destroyed in his town of Rockport.

“This is one of the reasons you sign up for the Guard. It’s because you want to go out and help people,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Samuel Bowman in the statement. “Opportunities like this is what we love. It’s part of doing our job.”

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Arizona National Guard, Phoenix Fire send crews for Hurricane Harvey