Last week, the National Park Service established a national strike team to help with rescue and relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area responded by sending three of their park rangers and one of their boats.
Lance Mattson, Jonathon Jackson and Nicholas Klakulak, all law enforcement rangers with Glen Canyon, responded to the call last Wednesday. They brought with them a 16-foot Zodiac.
Wednesday night, they reported to the Park Service’s incident command center, which had been established in Wharton, Texas, about an hour southeast of Houston.
There they were paired with local law enforcement who were familiar with the terrain and the neighborhoods in which they worked for the next five days.
The three park rangers began work Thursday morning and completed their operations Monday, often wading in waist-deep water as they moved through the neighborhoods. They returned to Page on Tuesday.
While in Texas the rangers, with their Texas counterparts, were assigned certain flooded neighborhoods and went door to door looking for anyone who remained in their homes during the storm.
When they found people, they helped anyone who wanted help, said Eric Linaris, chief of operations for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
The group also had a second objective of rescuing pets that got left behind in the storm.
Any animals they found, they transported back to an animal advocacy group, which is working to reunite the pets with their owners.
The National Park Service had about 25 personnel help with the Houston floods, about 18 of which served in the field with another seven serving in the command center.
They also provided eight boats to the rescue efforts.