EDINBURG – As Hurricane Hanna roared into the Rio Grande Valley on July 25, many employees from the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District stood ready and prepared to help those in need.
“I truly want to thank the staff from our Maintenance and Facilities, Transportation, and Police Departments for partnering with local emergency management authorities to evacuate families in our school community and secure our buildings,” said ECISD Interim Superintendent Gilbert Garza Jr.
During the height of the storm, officers from the Edinburg CISD Police Department aided in the rescue efforts, using specially equipped Humvees they received from the military through a surplus program.
“With the Humvees, officers are able to get in there and load the people, including their animals, and get them to a safe area,” said ECISD Police Chief Ricardo Perez Jr.
The highly-trained officers are part of the Special Response Team and have experience in helping our community when dangerous storms move into our area.
“We have helped out the fire department and the city of Edinburg several times in the past whenever we have a large amount of rain that falls in Hidalgo County,” Perez said.
Meanwhile, the staff from the Transportation Department helped fill sandbags, prepared emergency supply kits, and remained on standby to evacuate more families.
“During this event, we went ahead and had buckets full of spray bottles of our District approved disinfectant and masks for everybody,” said ECISD Transportation Director Alonzo Barbosa. “Even though we are in a tropical storm situation or in this case a category one hurricane, we didn’t want to forget about COVID-19.”
After the hurricane passed, team members from the Maintenance and Facilities Department assessed the District’s buildings and schools for storm damage.