All-Hazard Incident Management Team heads to Hurley to help with flood rescue efforts

The team is made up of multiple jurisdictions from around southwest Virginia.
The team is made up of multiple jurisdictions from around southwest Virginia.(Janay Reece)
Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 6:01 PM EDT
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PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - More help is on the way to western Virginia. The town of Hurley was hit with nearly 10 inches of rain in 24 hours.

Members of the All-Hazard Incident Management Team are on their way to help with flooding operations.

“On this deployment we’ll be focusing on the planning and the logistics. So the planning---just making sure that they have all of their documentation, all of their plans for the next operational period ready to go, so that they know what their objectives are, they know how they’re doing, achieving those, those operational goals,” said Laura Schmidt, a member of the All-Hazard Incident Management Team.

The team is made up of multiple jurisdictions from around southwest Virginia.

“From city of Roanoke, Franklin County, Bedford County, city of Martinsville, and we’ve been here for the last few years,” said Schmidt.

Their job will be to support rescue teams already on the ground.

“And just the organization of that kind of operation takes a lot of people behind the scenes, plan and a battle rhythm for everything that goes on. And so, a lot of what our team does is come in and just support that structure; we provide some documentation that’s needed. There’s a lot of financial pieces going on in the background that are overwhelming for a jurisdiction that’s going through something that’s probably the worst thing they’ve ever had to deal with,” said Schmidt.

They’ll be setting up a command post at a high school.

“The schools currently are also serving as shelters for a lot of the families there in particular, the children who go to those schools are relying on the schools for safe housing. During this event the schools are at a higher level so they weren’t flooding during this event, so it’s a safe place for them to be, so we’ll be alongside that kind of relief effort as well,” said Schmidt.

They anticipate a two-to-three-day operation but are prepared to switch gears if remnants of Ida hits home.

“This vehicle is unique; not everybody around here has one, so this is available to other jurisdictions, other localities; we can take you where it’s needed if we’re not busy here,” said Andrew McClaugherty, a Pulaski County swift water technician.

Some Pulaski County emergency vehicles are not being sent to Hurley for now but can be deployed at any time if needed.

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