Amateur radio flood response, relief support continues in Texas
Upwards of 150 Amateur Radio Emergency Service team members and other radio amateurs have been supporting flood response and relief efforts in flood-ravaged areas of Texas. Ray Taylor, N5NAV, South Texas section manager for the American Radio Relay League, said that ARES teams are assisting the American Red Cross, the Baptist Men’s Kitchen and the Salvation Army in their efforts to feed and clothe flood victims and to provide them with household essentials as they begin the massive cleanup.
Although an FCC-declared communications emergency for 7285 and 3873 kHz has been terminated, responding agencies continue to make use of HF for both health-and-welfare and tactical communications, Taylor said. ”We’re doing as much as we can on 2 meters,” he said, ”but we still really need HF.” Taylor said amateur HF was providing the only reliable communication in and out of some flood-stricken communities, and telephone and cellular telephone service remains erratic.
Taylor, who lives in New Braunfels, said the Guadalupe River was still overflowing the spillway at Canyon Dam north of town. So far, 13 Texas counties have been declared disaster areas. At least eight deaths have been attributed to the flooding, which has affected nearly 50,000 Texans.
Several days of nonstop rain between June 30 and July 6 generated some of the worst flooding in 100 years and caused thousands to flee their homes. Some areas of central Texas—which had been suffering drought conditions—received nearly three feet of rain. As residents have been allowed to return home this week, most Red Cross shelters were closed, but a few hundred people continue to take refuge.
Taylor said the Baptist Men’s Kitchen, the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army continue operations in seven or eight communities with Amateur Radio support.
(American Radio Relay League Bulletin)