Seattle-area rescue and aid teams gear up to help Harvey storm victims

A drives moves through flood waters left behind by Hurricane Harvey, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Aransas Pass, Texas. Harvey rolled over the Texas Gulf Coast on Saturday, smashing homes and businesses and lashing the shore with wind and rain so intense that drivers were forced off the road because they could not see in front of them. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SEATTLE - Urban rescue personnel from the Seattle area are heading to the flooding in Texas - but just getting there is going to be their first challenge.

Both Houston airports are closed. George Bush International is a hub for United Airlines and it is closed until further notice. William P. Hobby Airport is a hub for Southwest Airlines - its runways are completely underwater and will be closed through Wednesday. The Corpus Christie airport is closed, too.

So rescuers are trying to go through Baton Rouge, La. - but they're not sure yet how they'll get there.

Meanwhile, in a small warehouse in Poulsbo, seven volunteers of Empact Northwest are packing bags, preparing for anything.

"We don't know exactly 100 percent what we are going to do be doing or where we are," says Dr. Ken Klions, an anesthesiologist at Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton. "We just show up and deal with the situation as we get there."

He says the technical rescue group is trained for rescues in collapsed structures and high-angle rescue - but in this case they're probably going to be working in deep water.

And there is plenty of deep water. Roads, cars, highways and neighborhoods are submerged - with more days of rain on the way.

Jason Zimmerman, another member of Empact Northwest, says, "Personally i just want to go down there an save people."

They've been invited to help local fire departments in parishes along the Louisiana-Texas border.

Jake Gillanders, another member, says Empact Northwest is unique.

"We focus on under-served communities," he says. "The big cities are getting assistance from FEMA and other governmental entities, but we focus on communities that don't receive that large support."

Also from the Northwest - a 50-foot long trailer filled with enough emergency supplies to help out 1,000 Hurricane Harvey victims is on its way.

World Vision is sending food, diapers, hygiene kits, pillows and sleepng bags for families taking shelter.

United says it will try to resume flights to George Bush International by noon Monday - but that's not a sure thing.

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