Members of Nevada Task Force One had one hurricane under their belts and were headed home to the Las Vegas Valley when Hurricane Ike beckoned.
The 35-person crew has been bouncing around Texas since Aug. 30, first preparing for Hurricane Gustav and returning to buckle down for what followed.
"We’ve seen a lot of wind damage, water damage," team leader John Grana said Tuesday.
Grana spoke on a satellite phone with a three-second lag from Galveston Island, Texas, where the crew was working to clear an apartment complex.
They wanted to get everyone off the island while services were restored.
The task force has helped with several evacuations this round with stops in Houston, Port Arthur, Sabine and Texas City, Texas, program organizer Paul Bailey said.
It is unclear how long they will be in the Gulf Coast or where they are headed next.
The task force, which consists of personnel from law enforcement agencies in Southern Nevada, is one of 28 teams trained to respond to disasters throughout the country.
About 13 rescue workers from the Southern Nevada Red Cross are also in Texas, said Red Cross representative Kris Darnall.
Grana, who helped with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita rescues, said the wind and water damage is notable but not as bad as he saw with those previous hurricanes.
"It’s a lot different," he said. "It’s more structural damage. But you’re still dealing with the locals and seeing the devastation."
He said he would still rank the mission with previous large efforts like Hurricane Katrina.
Cell phone service is spotty and resources are depleting but Grana said spirits are high.
"Everyone is doing well. They miss their families but morale is up," he said. "It’s a comforting feeling to know we are helping give (people here) some closure and normalcy."
Contact reporter Maggie Lillis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0279.