Florida rescue team helps flooded Texans

Posted at 11:26 PM, Aug 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-30 23:26:11-04

An elite squad of rescuers from around our state are helping some of the worst flooded areas of Texas.

In Beaumont, neighborhoods look like houseboats. Water rescues are the new normal, at least for the next little while. The specially-trained firefighters from Florida arrived Monday night.

"These guys have been non-stop, from sun-up to sundown," said Steve Santana with Florida Task Force 3 Swift Water Rescue.

About 100 members from Florida's swift water rescue teams are in Texas, representing Miami, Orlando and Tampa Bay. For the Tampa delegation, it's the farthest thing they've ever traveled for a rescue. Despite living in a state known for water, hurricanes and natural disasters, every mission has its challenges.

Santana told us, "hey it's water, we're Florida, we see it all the time but you get here and it's nothing like Florida, even though it's a lot of water."

The last 48 hours for Tampa's team produced more than 100 water rescues alone.

"These are those caps when I sit and talk and talk to my grandkids and say what have I done, we went and we did good things."

Call them Florida's A-Team, rushing in when the water refuses to rush out, even 900 miles from home. 

"We'll remember these faces and the thank you they'll get when they are doing it," Santana said.

Harvey Coverage: Follow along with Action News Investigative Reporter Katie Lagrone in Texas