Missouri Task Force 1 Receives First Order as Rapid Response Team

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COLUMBIA - Missouri Task Force 1 learned Wednesday it would be staged as a rapid response team at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey.

The task force was deployed to the east coast Monday and departed for Herndon, Va. around 2 a.m. Tuesday.  While en route to Virginia, it was reassigned to the air force base in New Jersey.

 In a KOMU 8 News phone interview with Missouri Task Force 1 on Wednesday, member Chuck Leake talked about the mission.

"We are currently heading down the New Jersey turnpike into New York to support operations in Jamaica, NY," Leake said.

Leake described damaged tree lines and raised water levels as he drove down the turnpike.  The roads are open and citizens around the air force base are starting to get power again.  He said he's seen conditions of a really bad snow and rain storm, but said they are reaching conditions that are far worse than they have seen thus far.

What the team will be doing once it reaches its destination is unknown.

"Until we get there and find out exactly what the local jurisdiction needs from us, it may be searching houses and debris or it may be water rescues," Leake said.

The task force will remain staged as a rapid response team along with Ohio Task Force 1.