September 13th, 2008
03:13 PM ET

Task Force Ike ready for deployment

John Couwels
CNN Producer

Task Force Ike, made up of 25 local, state and federal agencies, began leaving San Antonio headed toward the areas affected by Hurricane Ike.
Task Force Ike

The force of 1,500 people is made up of paramedics, Texas military, heavy equipment and mobile command centers. The force lead by Texas Military Col. John F. Nichols said this is, “the first time that so many agencies have come together to create such a mass strike force.”
Task Force Ike

The massive deployment of over 700 vehicles traveling to the effected areas will help clear roads, assist anyone injured and rescue those in need. The force is part a larger force of search and rescue members consisting of helicopters and ground search and rescue teams.

Task Force Ike

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Filed under: Hurricane Ike
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. roxy

    I feel for the residents of Texas, but I keep hearing FEMA isn't acting fast. "where's our water, food, gas." What ever happened to personal responsibility? If you chose not to evacuate then at least take personal responsibilty for yourself and stock pile supplies. The government isn't responsibile for everything. We have flooding here in Chicago. You deal with it! It seems like in 2008 everyone would just rather call someone to take care of everything.

    September 15, 2008 at 9:50 am |
  2. Mohammed Ali

    AC / crew staff this was a very hictec weekend, I work at a convient store/gastation... and the people really freaked me out by the way they all rushed after work to Purchase Gas and all were totally scared about gas more than anything else in life so President BUSH is was and will always be right " WE ARE ADDICTED TO OIL " What really matter this whole week is Thanking God For Saving Our President's Home State, Saving the people of TEXAS and srrounding Cities and Ofcourse the Military and National Guards were always there for the people and citezends of this great Nation... Though we sure aren't Fully United and Faithely weakend other than that ... we have a wonderfull week and wonderfull rest of the year if we keep praying and hoping for the best of this next couple of seasons as far as weather.. now lets see the politics this Monday morning and keep'em Honest.

    September 15, 2008 at 9:01 am |
  3. Lerrin

    I find it galling that the same people who flagrantly violate MANDATORY evacuation orders are the very same who caterwall and whine for EXPENSIVE/HAZARDOUS assistance, rescue, and bail-outs that puts first-responders in unnecessary peril, and would NOT be necessary had they followed the MANDATORY evacuation order.

    These 'fiercely indivdualistic' types are the same ones who don't want the government 'telling them what to do', but are the first to inhale and demand vast amounts of expensive government resources as a result of their individual defiance and bonehead decisions.

    Bet that they likely vote red, and live blue...wrap themselves in the flag and then expect it to act as a parachute! -such hypocrites!

    It reminds me of those folks who have a 'right' to get themselves into hazardous situations (rockclimbing, mountaineering, etc.) that then require expensive resources for their rescue due to their incredibly bad decisions, overconfidence in their abilities, and patent inability to save themselves.

    If they have the right to make those decisions, they then have the MANDATORY responsibility (including FINANCIAL) for the consequences of their actions.

    I believe that officials should demand advance payment and security (bonds?) from folks who insist on defying such orders; perhaps individually arranging for their own rescues contracted in advance, and individually pre-pay for such rescues.

    They can get the money back after the crisis event should no rescue or resources are required; the money could go to their heirs or funeral expenses if they don't survive.

    Regardless: they should bear the financial responsibility for their decisions and actions, and pay up in advance for the privilege!

    September 15, 2008 at 1:12 am |
  4. Jason

    This is great to see , yet not nearly enough !! To that lady making disrespectfull comments about people who did'nt leave !! Has anyone stopped to think we had all evacuated one week before because of gustav !! Not only was everyone out of money to go ,, the level of evacuation assistance to leave was not nearly as good as the week before !! It's real easy to monday morning quarteback !! Southeast Texas was all but left behind when Rita hit because of New Orleans ,, and now look , this is even worse than Katrina! We have hundreds of thousands displaced in shelters far from home in hotels , running out of money , being evicted with no place to go !! We are applying with fema and being denied ! I am a boat captain and we carry your gas lady ,, we make your gas ,, we service 20 % of the petrochemical indutsry !! The country needs us but isd leaving us to fend for ourselves !!

    September 15, 2008 at 12:56 am |
  5. Trish A

    After reading reports on CNN frompeople who decided to ride out the storm I have to wonder why they made that decision after hearing that staying could result in certain death. I assumed those who stayed just didnt' have the means available to evacuate but when I heard there were 20,000 people who chose not to evacuate in Galveston and many more in Texas I was astounded! And many of those in Galveston according to the pictures shown were on ocean front properties and were told they were at the greatest risk! The person with the house on stilts is lucky the top floor held together! I would think common sense would tell anyone to get out if possible!

    Why would they put their lives and the lives of family members in such great risk? One story about a family staying on the sixth floor of an apt. bldg in Houston truly blew my mind! They huddled up in the apt with a small child and their parents! What are these people thinking? Who did they think were going to save them if the windows came crashing in on the apt. and flooded and they're six floors up and the streets below them are rivers!

    Do they feel the EMS are miracle workers? Now they have the task of trying to find 20,000 people out there somewhere in Galveston and will most likely have to put themselves at great risk in the process! If people have a valid reason for riding out the storm and they can't evacuate I understand but to just decide to stay when you could evacuate, put yourself, family, and EMS workers at risk is not justified in my view.

    September 14, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  6. Caryn

    thank you so much for coming to help us. We need it so much. Don't listen to the media, everyone who is a Native Texan is SO greatful for all that our politicians, our mayor, our representatives have done. We are so greatful for everything. I pray and hope that Galveston county and all of it's residents can safely return to their homes, if they have homes to return to.

    Caryn, a greatful Houstonian
    resident of Harris County ( near the Galleria)

    September 14, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  7. Surafel Melaku

    Off-course! It's Texas, help will be there in minutes.

    September 14, 2008 at 9:39 pm |
  8. JImmy in California

    It is sad that so many suffered and lost in this storm brought on by nature and it pains me at the time of the loss of so much to feel anger towards so many. Our high tech advancements have enabled our weather forecasters to predict conditions within reason in an area from storms today so people do not have to suffer injuries and die but then you have those that will not listen or are not thinking logically. Some claim they must stay to protect their property in the storm. They offer dumb excuses like that and then when the storm is on top of them and they realized they made a dumb mistake a call goes out to 911 screaming for rescue and help.

    Now they expect search and rescue to risk their lives to save them from their own dumb mistake. Well here is a news flash. It is the job of search and rescue to attempt to save people from certain injury or death but not from stupidity. They go out then to rescue you because of their devotion and not the desire to meet their maker. When people were warned that there would BE NO RESCUE, that warning should have been heeded.

    Now even when the risk is to great to go safely into the storm to make a rescue they go, unless told by a commanding authority to stand down. I hope that in the future people will realize that as smart as they may be, it is only in their respective fields. You listen to the repair man when he tells you the problem with your sink or the lawyer when he tells you what is needed to take care of your case so please people, LISTEN TO THE WEATHER PEOPLE and your local authorities. When they tell you to get out, consider the fact that they might know something you do not. You can replace all the material things in your possession but once your life is gone, it can be replaced only with a memory among your friends and love ones.

    September 14, 2008 at 9:34 pm |
  9. mary

    As of this time still no water and ice in houston.. Fema seems to be falling behind. Hope this is not anotyer Katrina

    September 14, 2008 at 9:33 pm |
  10. Cam from Canada

    To CNN News for the brave coverage of this natural disaster our thanks.

    To the people of the Gulf coast our prayers.

    To those who have lost so much our sincere sympathy. We feel your pain.

    God Bless America and the resolve and courage of the American people to somehow get through these things time and time again.

    September 14, 2008 at 8:47 pm |
  11. lynn

    My prayers go out to all who've suffered in this horrible storm. And I'm in awe that there are people willing to risk their own lives for those too stupid or stubborn to heed the warnings and mandatory evacuation orders. I hope the city, state, and feds send those whose rescue was completely avoidable a bill for the services.

    September 14, 2008 at 7:38 pm |
  12. Maria

    Correction of my previous post. Government IS restricting access (aerial) to the media in Bolivar Peninsula and several areas. We are not getting a clear picture. I am from Houston and have family and friends all over. We need to know. Wayne Dolcefino and the rest of the media need to be able to bring us local information. We do not need or want sanitized information.

    September 14, 2008 at 7:00 pm |
  13. Mime Bolda

    Mr. Cooper
    This is Katrina all over again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why do folks still not have water 36 hours after storm passed? Mr Jerkoff lies and his croonies are fed and watered; why can't we tar his ass and put his head up somebody's ass he is listening to! That man could not organize 2 turtles much less a hurricane rescue. He let ou first responders run out of food and water but his ass has water! Kay bailey hutinson ran her mouth and said nothing. can you throw her in the gulf and let her drink some fresh gulf water. I am mad my granddaughter and her mother are in a hot house with no water!!! Katrina again and again

    September 14, 2008 at 6:56 pm |
  14. Maria

    We just had IKE come through our homes. Once again, FEMA is sitting on their hands. There is immediate need for water, ice, food and they are not delivering. Not even to first responders. Congressman John Culverson is stating that it is "unbelievable", the first reponders "honkered down" in Tully Stadium are out of water, ice, and food. Someone was kind to bring them deer tamales.

    I recommend that you take some of the advertising budget from your campaign and hire 50 18 wheelers from a trucking company, load them up with water and food and drive them to Galveston. Also can you make sure that the media (Wayne Dolcefino from ABC13)have access. He and others are stating that they are being given access (air space) to be able to report properly in Bolivar. The goverment is not restricting access. So no they are not ready. This Taskforce is a JOKE!!!!! They just gave a press conference but no answers! WHEN ARE WE GETTING HELP?!!!!

    September 14, 2008 at 6:53 pm |
  15. kagan

    Great show of support....for Texax. Where is the support for Lousiana that had 1800 homes flooded from failed levees?. and I'll BET this message doesn't get printed here......the others asking for help for this area didnt.

    September 14, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  16. Ralph

    Apparently, Rep John Culberson (R) has been on KHOU news conference today (Sunday) asking Houstonians to bring food and water to the emergency response command center. The Command Center for all of Southeast Texas based at Tulley Stadium is out of food and water. Reporters are asking "Who dropped the ball?"

    Is this true and if so, not again!

    September 14, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  17. cameron

    Does anyone know anything about the Tomball, TX area?

    September 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  18. Donna Begley

    As parents of one of the Swift Water Rescue Team firefighters from Sacramento Ca., We would like to see some acknowledgement of these men and women. We are also concerned for their safety and well being. Our son is a member of the Swift Water Rescue Team and also part of a federal task force. they are on call 365 days a year, anywhere in the country. They spent 49 hours traveling straight thru from Sacramento to the Gulf states ahead of the hurricane in their rescue rigs. On the lite side, they were practicing their rescuing techniques in a river in Louisanna when one of the locals told them to get out of the water because there was an 8 ft. alligator in there,a problem they don't run into in the Sacramento River. That's when they practiced their " walking on water technique". They have wives, husbands, children and parents all awaiting their safe return.

    September 14, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  19. richard nichols, ortonville, MI ,

    I have watched your interviews with Ike survivors with a mix of amazement and disgust. I'm amazed from the standpoint that these people are willing to go on national television and admit that they ignored mandatory evacuation orders and put themselves and their families at risk.....and disgusted that they have not been charged with child endangermant and neglect. As Ron White says "Ya just can't fix stupid".

    September 14, 2008 at 12:34 pm |
  20. Robert Johnson

    After watching and reading about the rescues that are now being made in Texas to those who did not evacuate, I have to ask.....Did you watch the news?
    The evacuation was mandatory for those who are now seeking to get out.
    My mother rode out Katrina one block north of the tracks in Gulfport, MS in 2005. I was working in California, and could do nothing to help.
    I did not know here status for 3 days, and when I finally spoke with her, she complained about their circumstances. My only reply was, "I hope you do suffer". It may seem cold, but when your children are already planning your funeral, if your body is ever found, think of the suffering your loved ones go through.
    I have an idea.........Whenever a Mandatory Evacuation order goes out, ALL services are stopped 12 hours after the order is given. That means that All Electric, Water, Sewer, Cable, Gas, etc. is turned off. People need to keep in mind that after the storm, there are downed power lines that kill. Turn off power, and that won't happen right away.
    Use battery operated radios and TV's to keep up with the storm. Get used to it, because that is what you will be using for a week or two after the storm.
    If people know the circumstances they will be living in BEFORE the store, then maybe they will think twice about staying.
    Then, use all man power after the storm to clear roads, and get the services turned back on. Use the money we would have spent on Rescueing the stubburn and ignorant, and use that to make the shelters a better place to live for those who were smart enough to not risk their lives, or those of a "would be rescuer" had they stayed.
    Yes, this sounds harsh, but the conditions for those who do survive will be harsh as well. It is time to accept personal responsibility over ones own lives. Katrina tought us alot. We now know that we must furnish buses to evacuate those who don't have transportation Let us give that in and out, and take care of those at the shelters. The others, just find out their names for the memorial that will be built to "honor" those too stupid to heed the advise to leave.
    Enough is Enough is Enough.

    September 14, 2008 at 11:56 am |
  21. Dick

    I agree with Dora, I think those that failed to heed the "MANDATORY EVACUATION" should be given 3 choices following their rescue.
    1) el autobus a Mexico – si no habla ingles
    2) 30 days in Huntsville – waive the trial
    3) pay back the cost of their rescue
    This rescue effort is costing the taxpayers BILLIONS of dollars in order to rescue STUPID people who wouldn't obey the evacuation orders.

    September 14, 2008 at 11:25 am |
  22. Joyce

    I'm appalled at people who don't heed warnings. If you are stupid enough to live in an area right next to the ocean which can be extrememly deady in a storm, you deserve to pay for all the rescue stuff yourself. Why should everyone else have to cover you? They should make it mandatory and make the people leave or arrest them. I know it's a free country, but for goodness sake. Plus, these people who live down there put their families, children, ANIMALS, at risk. That is the part that really pisses me off. UGH.

    September 14, 2008 at 8:13 am |
  23. prissya

    I wonder if any of the presidential candidates are going to come out to any of the disaster areas, especially Houston. I live in Houston and my area is bady ruined. The electricity is out all over the city. I had to come to Austin so I could pick up a few supplies, I will be back tommorrow. But I believe if either one of them showed up it would lift the spirits the of citizens in these areas.

    September 14, 2008 at 3:56 am |
  24. Vanessa

    Thank you first responders, Centerpoint Energy, the military, Feds, AC360 and all local news media and reporters. We appreciate all the coverage of Houston. My brother stayed at the family home in North Houston along with several of my other relatives and friends including their families. I left with my two elderly parents to Dallas and all the media has helped me keep them posted on updates to the few people who didn't have radios or anything other than cell phones. Again thank you for keeping an eye on the hold outs. Thank you and please continue being safe. I always wanted to meet Anderson Cooper just not under these circumstances lol. Keep up the good work CNN!!!!

    September 13, 2008 at 11:26 pm |
  25. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    I have close freinds in Texas. I hate the politicians they vote for but I would do anything for them. Please America if we can help just ask.

    September 13, 2008 at 11:12 pm |
  26. adrienne freeman

    my father lives in southwest houston, he said that they were all right but the neighborhood was distorded. he said he had to drive all the way to el camo, tx to get 4 bags of ice that's all they had.

    my brother stays in southest house he didn't leave and the storm hit the home took some roof off and siding raining in the house. the wate is up to the front porch he is trapped. we can't reach him on his cell phone now to see if the water has gotten in the house yet.


    September 13, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  27. Cali

    I hope they deploy to Louisiana, too. They have flooding from the surge as well. I got this e-mail message from a woman in Houma, Louisiana this morning (Terrebone Parish): "We are still experiencing tropical force winds in Houma. We have mandatory evacuation because every "levee" we have in our parish has broken. I say "levee" because they are not built nor recognized by Corp of Engineers. They are just mounds of dirt about 3 – 5 feet high. Many homes under 9 feet of water. The flooding has stopped 3 miles from our house, skipped over us, and flooding further north of us. We are NOT on high ground. It's a miracle. God is good. We even still have electricity. Prayers work."

    September 13, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  28. chris

    incredible. thanks for continuing to be a respectable news source.

    September 13, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  29. Dora

    I jsut wrote a comment before reading your rules, dummy me.

    I used all caps in some of my comment, but I was not yelling at you, that was for the "morons" who thought they could fight a hurricane.

    I have been through a house fire, I lost my kids in that fire, but all the material things were replaceable, but lives aren't. For the life of me I don't understand how people think they can save their houses or other material things by riding out a hurricane of such forces. Isn't life more important to them than this. Not only were they risking their own lives but those of others that they called later on desperately seeking help.

    It all boils down to......"Oh that won't happent to me'" attitude.

    September 13, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  30. Chris in New Jersey

    AC360...ok, Ike has made landfall, but what areas will it affect as it continues to burn itself out. No one is talking about this.

    September 13, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  31. Rob Hutchinson

    I would welcome shelter and safety in my home to anyone who was in dire need including there pets but I do not consider a snake, lizard, two scorpions, and a tarantula pets. I am surprised they don't have an alligator.

    September 13, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  32. Dora

    I think that the ones who were in the part of Texas that had "MANDATORY EVACUATION" should have to pay for what it cost to get them out, ie, paramedics, medication if needed, water, food, and receive no government help on rebuilding their properties.

    WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? Did they think they could stand in front of the doors with their arms outstretched and hold their houses together against such high winds and rain?????

    I think they were selfish on their parts. Material things can be replaced but lives can't. They were risking their own lives, not to mention the lives of those that have to go looking for them now and rescue them.

    And then the nerve of them to call for help when the storm hit, they really have gall.

    If I was told it was "mandatory evacuation" all you see from me is my dust..............I would be gone.

    September 13, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  33. Dolores, Austin Texas

    Anderson, I applaud the CNN crew for doing such a wonderful job keeping us Texans informed through out the night, God bless you guys for risking your own lives, I’m employed by a State Government Agency and we have already received many many of calls regarding the damages from Hurricane Ike. We have been asked to work all weekend and as soon as it is safe, our agency will be sending a lot of us out to assist these good folks with their claims. You guys are awesome, please be safe and again Thanks.

    September 13, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  34. JD

    Bless you responders!

    September 13, 2008 at 3:15 pm |