The five Carson City deputies who headed to Mississippi to assist with law enforcement efforts in the flood-ravaged state are cooling their heels in Las Vegas for a day, according to Carson City Undersheriff Steve Albertsen.
"Mississippi has asked us to stand down until tomorrow," he said. "They're going to get back to us."
Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong said Sunday the reason the group is holding off is the resources entering the area are more numerous than the Mississippi Department of Emergency Management can absorb right now.
"There are about 100 officers and equipment sitting in Las Vegas right now, in a convoy formation," said Furlong. "They've rented rooms for the night. They're not being canceled; they're being told not to proceed just yet."
The officers from across Nevada were in a briefing at the Nevada Highway Patrol office in Las Vegas when they received the word. They had been scheduled to depart in a convoy of patrol cars at 3 p.m. Sunday from the office.
"It's our understanding the mission is still a go, but just on hold," NHP spokesman Kevin Honea said. "FEMA wants to ascertain where and how they will deploy us before sending us. They want us to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Obviously, there are some people who are disappointed."
FEMA officials had no immediate comment, saying they would need time to determine the source of the confusion.
Volunteers from the Nevada Highway Patrol and police agencies in Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Reno, Carson City and Nye County were scheduled to take part in the relief effort.
Nevada authorities said the group was asked to assist law enforcement in the Gulf region for about three weeks. They said the contingent was to be assigned to a specific area after completing the 36-hour, 1,200-mile drive to Mississippi.
Officials said they were taking part in the effort at the request of different state and federal agencies.
"Their mission is to assist in restoring and ensuring order," NHP Maj. Philip Tilt said.