Harris County Precinct 4 road and bridge department ready to rescue people if needed during storm events

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When Hurricane Harvey caused flooding across Houston, Harris County Precinct 4 road and bridge department director Freddie Jebousek’s high-water team and fleet were there to help rescue people. They’re prepared to do the same in response to the potential impacts from Hurricane Laura.

A Sunday press release outlined the measures that the Pct. 4 road and bridge department has taken to get ready for weather events.

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The department has been taking part in practice sessions every two months since 2018 at Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve to prepare for natural disasters, though the sessions have been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, since Harvey, the department has received proper equipment and training.

Jebousek said outside sources like the fire and police departments were consulted for guidance when it came to purchasing the right gear. He said the Harris County Pct. 4 Constable’s Office assisted with high-water truck training.

The release says that 22 road and bridge crew members initially joined the high-water rescue training in late 2018 after Hurricane Harvey to learn how “to use high-water vehicles and boats, as well as the basics of navigating floodwaters and identifying harmful or obstructive items like submerged cars or mailboxes.” Other lessons included “assisting and interacting with flood victims and using the truck’s liftgates for residents in wheelchairs or those who have mobility issues.”

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Crew members also used four days on Marshall Lake for detailed boating and vehicle mechanics lessons, according to the release. The release states that there is no certainty of where high-water incidents might occur, but that road and bridge crews will be ready “to serve at a moment’s notice.”

alvaro.montano@chron.com

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