HOUSTON – Until Wednesday, parts of the Houston area were on track to feel serious impacts from Hurricane Laura.
While we may have dodged a bullet, our neighbors in Louisiana are facing the devastating effects of the Category 4 storm.
Instead of stepping back and wiping their brows in relief, first responders from all over the state and country have gathered at NRG Stadium to prepare to help residents who were impacted by Laura.
Dozens of rescue crews were ready with ambulances, fire trucks and boats to be dispatched to areas in need of assistance early Thursday, and people could be seen sleeping by the emergency vehicles in case they were called to action.
Watch: Ambulance convoy heads from Houston to Hurricane Laura damage zone
The Texas Emergency Medical Task Force asked to use NRG as a staging area, and according to KPRC 2 consumer expert Amy Davis, some people have even seen crews from as far as Arkansas in northern areas that are ready to help where needed.
According to the task force, the last time crews had a similar set up was during Hurricane Harvey.
Some of the crews are expected to go to Louisiana, but many will be be dispatched to Beaumont and Port Arthur, Davis said.
“My understanding is they are moving a lot of these (crews) up to Beaumont to help with the missions that are up there,” said Chief Grant Madden with the Sweetwater Fire Department.
According to Madden, there are about 80 ambulances on standby. It may be that many of them are not needed, but Madden said it is better to be safe than to not have enough resources.
The extent of the damage will not be clear until the sun comes up and daylight allows crews to survey the area and identify where help is needed the most.
Madden said the crews will not be sent out until they can make sure the roads are open and it is safe for them to travel.