Forward Watch

Forward Watch, October 30

A situation report for Tropical Storm Zeta and the latest on TR’s wildfire response.


Tropical Storm Zeta

Team Rubicon is monitoring Tropical Storm Zeta and is prepared to respond as necessary. Recon teams are rolling out to survey the area in southeastern Louisiana where the storm came ashore as a powerful Category 2 hurricane.

Zeta initially hit the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico as a Category 1 hurricane, then rapidly gained strength while racing over the Gulf. The storm made U.S. landfall on Wednesday in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana with 110 mph winds and a storm surge that flooded coastal regions with 10 feet of water.

Zeta has since been downgraded to a tropical storm and is tracking through the Southeast toward Virginia. The storm is traveling at 24 miles per hour and should pass through the area quickly.

There have been six reported fatalities caused by Zeta and nearly 2 million residents of the Gulf Coast are without power.

Some of the same communities impacted by Hurricane Sally in September are expected to have suffered damage.

Active Wildfire Response

Granby, Colorado

The East Troublesome Fire started on October 14 in the area north of Hot Sulphur Springs, CO. The blaze has consumed nearly 194,000 acres and is moving across Grand County towards Estes Park. Local fire crews have achieved 10% containment.

The Grand County Emergency Manager has requested the assistance of Team Rubicon to provide debris management on the roads and walkways that have been obstructed by wreckage from the fire. Crews will also take part in the creation of firelines to mitigate further spread of the East Troublesome Fire.

Team Rubicon will deploy 15 sawyers and swampers to the area for a projected 14-day operation.

Hurricanes Laura and Delta 

Lake Charles, LA

As of October 29, 71 Greyshirts are on the ground serving in Lake Charles, LA. To date, over 613 Greyshirts have deployed to this area as part of Operation Crying Eagle. 

Team Rubicon is helping residents affected by both Hurricane Laura, which struck with record settings winds in August, and Hurricane Delta, which came in October and undid weeks’ worth of repairs.

Work orders include chainsaw operations, expedient home repairs, muck outs, and heavy equipment operations.

Greyshirts have assisted over 607 individuals and completed over 229 work orders, with 85 work orders remaining.

Orange, TX

As of October 29, 38 Greyshirts are on the ground in Orange, TX. In total, 368 Greyshirts have deployed to this area as part of Operation Crying Eagle.

Greyshirts have assisted 478 individuals and completed 198 work orders, with two remaining. Services being provided include chainsaw operations, roof tarping, and expedient home repair.

This operation is scheduled to demobilize on October 31.

Hurricane Sally

As of October 29, 31 Greyshirts are on the ground between Robertsdale, AL and Pensacola, FL assisting individuals and families. To date, over 162 Greyshirts have deployed to this region as part of Operation Damn the Torpedoes.

Greyshirts have assisted 296 individuals and completed 131 work orders, with 15 open work orders remaining.