El Paso

El Paso County first responders recount Harvey devastation

El Paso County first responders...

Five El Paso County sheriff's deputies and three constables made the 14-hour trek to help local law enforcement agencies and victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The group headed Aug. 28 and arrived a week later.

Sheriff's Office Sgt. Robert Rojas sat down with ABC-7 to recount how they helped and what they saw while on their weeklong stay.

"We really didn't know what to expect. We were briefed to pretty much prepare for the unknown," Rojas said.

The group packed sleeping bags and cots with the expectation of maybe sleeping outside but despite the unknown Rojas tells ABC-7 he wasn't worried about what he and the group were about to embark on.

"I had faith in my training and I had faith in the other eight guys that we were going to come back and we were going to do our best job," Rojas said.

Rojas told ABC-7 the roads and skies were clear while driving to San Antonio until they arrived at a small town before Katy.

"You could see where some flooding occurred and then building, building, building and then an area that was flattened and then you would see some boats and some campers that were turned over ... what we found out later was a tornado had touched down the night before," Rojas said.

Once in Katy the group assisted the Katy Police Department. Members of the group went on a tour to familiarize themselves with the area.

"Katy suffered a lot of flooding the day before we got there. That was were we saw neighborhoods underwater, we saw flooded roads. There was places we couldn't even cross," Rojas said.

Rojas and the group assisted area law enforcement agencies with rescues and shelter security, or as needed in the areas hit by the hurricane.

Even though the group saw victims in the area removing their belongings from their flooded homes, Rojas says the community had a lot of hope.

"It was from everybody, it was from civilians, law enforcement, firefighters, everyone had the hope that we're going to rebuild," Rojas said.



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