(HELENA) As Tropical Storm Harvey continues to pound Texas, Lewis and Clark County leaders say they’re prepared to send help if it’s needed.
On Monday, Montana Disaster and Emergency Services asked law enforcement agencies around the state if they would be able to provide swift-water rescue teams for seven to 14 days. Lewis and Clark County Undersheriff Jason Grimmis said it was not a formal request for assistance, but rather a first step to see what resources were available in Montana.
Grimmis said the county might be able to send up to a dozen members of Lewis and Clark Search and Rescue. But because those members are volunteers, it would depend on whether they were able to get enough time off work.
The initial inquiry from Montana DES didn’t specify whether authorities dealing with Harvey would be looking just for extra personnel or for watercraft and equipment as well. Grimmis said if a formal request is made, county leaders will have a better idea of what they can make available.
If the authorities in Texas need rescuers trained on jet skis, Grimmis said the sheriff’s office could also send one or two full-time deputies from the Water Emergency Team, also known as the “Wet Team.”
There’s no timeframe on when a formal request for aid could come, but Grimmis believes it’s likely that request will be made.
“People get exhausted down there,” Grimmis said. “Granted, the state of Texas is large, but they could always use help in times of need like this with natural disasters. Mother Nature is a heck of a lot stronger than millions of people at times.”
Grimmis said during his time at the sheriff’s office, Lewis and Clark Search and Rescue had been called out a number of times to assist with disasters outside the county. Those cases were mostly within Montana.