Help from Tampa Bay headed to Texas

- Agencies all across Tampa Bay are packing up and hitting the road, driving more than a thousand miles to Texas, to aid Hurricane Harvey victims.

Rising flood waters have forced thousands of people out of their homes.

On Sunday, two swift water rescue teams, comprised of 25 firefighters from Hillsborough County, Tampa and St. Petersburg Fire Rescue were deployed to Austin, Texas.

The firefighters are a part of Task Force 3, an emergency management group made up of first responders from each region of Florida and every state throughout the country.

They were warned, in a condition report, about what they'll be facing in the Lone Star State.

"In that condition report, it said that there's absolutely no infrastructure, there's no running water, there's no power, so to come prepared to basically live on your own," said Corey Dierdorff, the public information officer for Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

The team is taking toilet and shower trucks, grills and food, in addition to medical supplies and several boats for rescue efforts.

Crews with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are also assisting in Texas. They said they're experience has prepared them for the work ahead.

"Florida is unique. We've been through a lot of hurricanes, and our experience here is tested," said Col. Curtis Brown.

Both first responders and Texas residents will receive hot meals  from the Salvation Army of Tampa. The organization plans to send 30 volunteers from Tampa to the Houston area to feed those in need through their 42 mobile kitchens.

"Our mobile kitchens make it so we can go right to places where people tried to wait out the storm, so we can be with them through these challenging times," said Captain Andy Miller, the area commander for the Salvation Army of Tampa.

The group is also collecting monetary donations to buy food and supplies for flood victims.

According to their Facebook page, the Red Cross of Central Florida has sent two dozen volunteers to Texas and Louisiana to help provide food and shelter for victims.

Duke Energy Florida officials said 100 contracted crews will arrive in Houston between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning to help restore power once it is safe.

Firefighters with Task Force 3 are expected to arrive in Austin by Tuesday morning.  They will report to a command center to find out in what area they will be deployed.

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