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CBP Joins First Response Efforts

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Though Harvey has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm, rain bands and tornados continue to hit the Texas Gulf Coast area.

The impacted areas are expected to experience flooding due to an expected eight to 12 inches of rain to fall in areas adding to rain that fell during the hurricane.

Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol Special Operations Agents assist a disaster survivor trapped on the second floor of his home in Rockport, Texas August 26, 2017.  Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
A U.S. Border Patrol agent assists a
disaster survivor trapped on the second
floor of his home in Rockport, Texas.

As in previous emergency situations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s emergency response is conducted in accordance with the Department of Homeland Security’s National Response Framework.

“Our highest priority in an emergency is the safety of people in the impacted areas,” said CBP Lead Field Coordinator Judson W. Murdock II. “To that end we’ve been asked to staff local, state and federal emergency operations center. We are coordinating with these agencies and are joining search and rescue efforts as requested.”

U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector has deployed 50 agents who will staff a U.S. Coast Guard Emergency Operations Center in Robstown, Texas, as well as provide assistance to the U.S. Border Patrol agents stationed in Corpus Christi.

“We continue to monitor the storm and its effects on the region,” Murdock said. “In Houston, we are experiencing flooding with rainfalls reaching between 18-30 inches. As expected this is impacting international trade and travel; however we continue to coordinate with U.S. Coast Guard and respective port authorities to resume operations.”

Murdock recommends the trade community monitor the cargo systems messaging service for up-to-date information on port activity and to continue to monitor the appropriate airport websites for international travel.

For those in affected by the storm, shelters remain open. To locate a shelter, Download the FEMA mobile app (available in English and Spanish) for registration information, directions and a customizable checklist of emergency supplies.

All indications point that this incident is a long-term event and conditions remain perilous for those in the impacted areas. CBP joins local, state and federal first responders who advise residents to monitor local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information.

Last Modified: February 3, 2021