Dispatches from the field: After Imelda

September 26, 2019

By NIkki Fitzgerald

After winds and flooding from Tropical Storm Imelda impacted parts of Southeast Texas, agents from Texas Sea Grant, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team (VET), Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Cooperative Extension Program of Prairie View A&M University, and Jefferson and Chambers Counties have been aiding recovery efforts.

The following perspective comes to us from Nikki Fitzgerald, the Texas Sea Grant/AgriLife coastal and marine extension agent for Jefferson and Chambers counties:

It is currently day seven of this. I am on the back of a hay trailer waiting for the airboat to return to pick up more hay for livestock. All I can hear is airboats traveling down roadways.

My journey has been a whirlwind of ups and downs. My first day, I helped with our team of extension agents to set up two animal shelters, one in White’s Park and the second in Ford Park. White’s Park was a shelter that the owners where sheltered next door to in the community building and Ford Park was a rescued animal shelter. 

The Winnie/Hamshire area took the brunt of the rain at a little over 40 inches. I have helped rescue horses from neighborhoods and off the side of I-10. I have helped do hay drops from chinook helicopters, boats, and high-water vehicles and have visited with a couple local shrimpers who were up getting hay for their livestock. The Texas A&M VET team was a huge help working with extension agents to get things done.

We have a long road to recovery. Hopefully water will continue to drain off. I have been joking with people all this water is my fault because I’m the coastal and marine extension agent and needed more water. Texas Sea Grant agents just roll up their sleeves and do what is needed at the time

Learn more about the post Imelda recovery efforts from AgriLife Today.