MCALLEN, RGV – The City of McAllen Public Works sent a convoy of 75 trucks to help the recovery effort for residents of Aransas Pass, Ingleside and Fulton this morning.
At the request of the state, a team of 80-100 emergency responders will help with water and sewer services and debris cleanup.
“What we’re doing is helping to restore the water systems in the city, helping to make sure that the sewers and the systems are working so that they can use their sinks, flush their toilets [and] get the water that they need,” said Jeff Johnston, Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator and McAllen Assistant City Manager.
Johnston will be heading the response effort and coordinating with officials in the affected cities.
The crews are bringing pumps, backhoes and dump and fuel trucks for their work. Other supplies such as generators, tents and food will keep the unit self-sustaining.
The city also partnered with Hidalgo County Precinct 4 and Hidalgo County Health and Human Services, who sent additional crew members.
“All of departments were asked for volunteers. This is all volunteers,” said McAllen City Manager Roy Rodriguez. “I think it tells you a little bit about their servant heart because they’re going to go work 14 hours a day and sleep outside in a cot. So, there’s no[thing] fancy going on here. It’s all work.”
The team is expected to stay for about a week, but there is the possibility that their services might be needed for longer.
“Every house that got destroyed, there’s a potential water leak. So, they’re going to be really busy up there,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling.
Although the response team has been asked to help with the specific cities, Mayor Darling says they are ready, if needed, to assist in Houston. Rodriguez added that the team has helped before with Hurricane Ike and is prepared, simply saying “they’re the best.”
Their work begins when they arrive today.