The task force sent out a Type 3 urban search-and-rescue team consisting of 45 people, four boats and two canines.
“This is going to be a very serious storm for Florida,” said task force Director Jeff Saunders.
The team is one of 28 federal teams under FEMA’s National Urban Search and Rescue System.
"The spirit of Texas is helping one another in times of need, and we are proud to help our fellow Americans in Florida ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Ian," Abbott said. "Texas is no stranger to hurricane disaster response efforts, and we recognize the urgency for additional resources in preparation of this Category 3 storm. We greatly appreciate the generosity of Floridians and aid the State of Florida has sent us during times of crisis in our state — and we are honored to do the same."
Hurricane Ian is expected to strengthen into a category 4 storm Tuesday afternoon before reaching Florida as early as Wednesday.
Texas A & M Task Force 1 will be stationed just outside of where the storm is expected to make landfall to ensure crews are not trapped and can go in and make rescues. Saunders says this was a lesson learned during hurricane Ike in Houston, when the team who was stationed at Reliant Area, couldn’t get out for 35 hours.
There are tropical storm and hurricane watches in effect for the west coast of Florida. More watches may be issued soon.
While uncertainty still exists regarding the exact track and intensity of the storm, the latest cone has shifted back towards the east a bit, increasing confidence that the Tampa Bay area will see a significant impact.
Regardless of the exact track and point of landfall, storm surge is going to be the most widespread impact of Ian along the West Coast of Florida. Water levels could climb 5 to 10 feet above ground level across Tampa Bay if Ian passes just offshore.