Pierce County sending water rescuers to help flood ravaged Texas

A team of water rescue experts is headed to Texas on Sunday night to assist the flood-ravaged state.

The Pierce County Department of Emergency Management is sending 17 members of its urban search and rescue team, said spokeswoman Sarah Foster.

The water rescue module of the Federal Emergency Management Department task force left Pierce County at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Originally headed to an area east of Houston, they were shifted to Austin after only an hour on the road by FEMA.

That illustrates the changing nature of the unfolding disaster in Texas. Austin is a staging area, Foster said.

“They will go to the place with the greatest need,” she said.

The team left with five trucks loaded with gear and hauling two trailers, four boats, motors and inflatable crafts.

“They will be a fully contained unit when they get there,” Foster said.

The task force is one of 28 teams around the country.

“If they’re coming all the way to Washington, it shows the magnitude of the event,” Foster said.

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541, @crsailor