San Antonio – Crews continue to clean up in Lousiana and Texas after Hurricane Laura, a category 4 storm, left many places in shambles.
Christy Bormann and her canine partner, Gunny, from Bexar County, were some of several members of the Texas A&M Task Force 1 team sent to help victims just minutes after the storm hit. Gunny is a lifeline dog trained to search for people trapped in collapsed structures.
“We then moved down to Beaumont (Texas) to wait for the storm to make landfall so that we would be in a position to help anybody as quickly as possible after landfall,” Bormann said.
Bormann and her partner both waited to see what the first teams found.
“We had teams out doing what we call a rapid needs assessment. So they were driving around to the affected areas to see what people were going to need and how we could best help them,” she said.
Bormann was one of about 80 people on her team and part of more than 200 search and rescue teams sent to help. The groups included water and helicopter search crews.
Bormann says every hurricane response is different, but the wind damage was the worst in this storm.
“We’re very fortunate that there was not more storm surge and there was not more water damage,” she said.
The Texas A&M Task Force 1 team spent nearly a week in the area helping. Bormann said it was nice to see how the community and neighbors stepped up to help one another.
“We spent a few days doing damage assessments, working through neighborhoods to make sure that people were safe, and to document the damage that had happened to their homes,” she said.
“Some people are very lucky, and they didn’t receive devastating effects. But there were many people whose homes were destroyed, and they’ve lost everything that they had,” Bormann said.
Bormann is a Canine Program Manager for the Texas A&M Task Force 1 team and has been with the team since 2006. She and Gunny have worked together for about four years.