The Outstanding Emergency Response of U.S. Agencies and Others

Government agency responders have literally flown to the rescue and relief of the many thousands of Coastal Carolina residents impacted and displaced by the furry that was Hurricane FLORENCE.  The flooding continues as inland rivers crest their banks, sending even more flood waters to coastal communities.  So the rescues continue, but importantly now comes the urgent need to get food and other supplies to those displaced.

Savannah Air Station Coastguardsmen have worked alongside their colleagues from Air Stations in Clearwater (FL), Miami (FL), Elizabeth City (NC), and others to rescue people (over 1,000) and pets (over 400), to date.

Along with the Coast Guard (employing both air and shallow water response boat assets), the U.S. Army (active/guard/reserve) has been actively involved in operations.  Over 13,000 Army personnel have been assigned, to include 90+ helicopters, 30+ watercraft, and 190+ route clearance teams, the latter critical to providing safe return access for evacuated and rescued residents.  Army High-Water Vehicles have also been employed to bring trapped civilians out of harm’s way.  And the Army Corps of Engineers teams have been actively monitoring and managing USACE dams in the area to do all they can to reduce downstream flooding, the continuing issue once the hurricane driven rain/ocean waters had ceased.  And the U.S. Navy stationed two vessels with rotary wing aircraft off the North Carolina coast on stand-by.  Had it been needed, a Navy hospital ship would also have been brought in.

Rescue assets have come from around the nation to provide life-saving assistance. Perhaps coming the greatest distance, the Los Angeles County Fire Department arrived with its Swift Water Rescue Team, helping to bring-out stranded residents.  And then, of course, the amazing men of the “Cajun Navy.”

In sum, a magnificent local, state, and federal response (including volunteers) to disastrous flooding and blocked roads, for whose collective, courageous efforts, both those rescued and the entire nation owe a tremendous sense of gratitude.  Our thoughts remain with all those displaced who now face a long road back to their repaired, reconstructed, and reclaimed normalcy.