TXDOT, Austin Fire Dept. and Texas Parks & Wildlife gearing up for Harvey

Early Thursday morning, Central Texas TXDot crews left for what could be a dangerous next few days.

"We are sending about two dozen crewmembers down to mobilize first in San Antonio, they will wait until the storm actually comes ashore so we know exactly where they need to go to help out," said TXDot spokesperson Diann Hodges. 

Hodges says the crews will be true "first responders."  They will help clear the roadways so emergency responders can actually get through to do what they need to do.

"We're sending grade-all excavators, these are really large pieces of equipment that have a big scoop claw on the front that can remove large debris out of a roadway," she said.

And back here in Austin, we may get a dangerous amount of rain.  TXDot says they're ready to help with that too.  They're urging drivers not to go out if they don't need to.  But if they do have to get on the road, get online first.

"We have a website: drivetexas.org, it has live up to date information on which roadways are open or closed across the state.  That way you can know before you go," Hodges said.

Texas Parks and Wildlife says game wardens are alert and ready to respond in their communities as they have done many times in the past -- and they've staffed up the State Operations Center.

Texas Parks and Wildlife is also closing State Parks on the coast.  But spokesperson Stephanie Garcia says State Parks outside of the storm zone will be available for storm evacuees.

"And if they want to go ahead and try and get into one we recommend that they call our State Parks call center and they can go ahead and direct them to places with availabilty," Garcia said.

At the time this story was put together Thursday afternoon there are currently 18 Austin firefighters deploying as part of Texas Task Force One to help with the state response.

Division Chief Palmer Buck is the "Water Manager" for Texas Task Force One.

"I will be leaving in a couple of hours to go down to Corpus Christi.  Trying to get ahead of the evacuations now that they're going from some voluntary evacuations to some mandatory evacuations," Buck said.

Buck says some will help with water rescues, air rescues and structural response.

"We'll be chasing the storm we've done that in the past and we're very experienced with chasing storms and providing assitance where needed," Buck said.

To check out the latest road conditions with TxDOT, click here.