The North Carolina National Guard is sending over 500 soldiers and airmen to help their southern sister state as it continues to respond to and recover from record flooding.
“This mobilization is unique to the National Guard because of our dual-mission purpose and authority,” said Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, adjutant general of North Carolina. “South Carolina is experiencing a magnitude of disaster similar to what North Carolina experienced in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd. During that disaster other states responded to our calls for assistance. It is now our honor and obligation to reciprocate to our neighbors, fellow Americans in South Carolina.”
NC Emergency Management personnel and resources along with the NC Guard will support South Carolina’s flood response and recovery in the areas of logistics liaison and public information and staff support, provide hundreds of road barriers, civil air patrol aerial assessments and provide critical necessities like water.
NCNG’s primary missions will be damage assessments of roads, bridges and building, debris removal, road repair, vertical and horizontal construction and communication support.
“Our emergency personnel and first responders will be working extremely long hours and, in many cases, potentially hazardous situations,” said Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry. “Yet they are reaching out with compassion, strength and commitment to helping our southern neighbors.”
On Sunday, three North Carolina Helicopter and Aquatic Rescue Teams (NC HART) were sent to South Carolina to rescue those trapped in the flood waters. The teams are comprised of NC rescue technicians, NCNG Blackhawk helicopters and NCEM specialists. HART’s unique capability enables the teams to search wide areas through rapidly changing conditions such as dam failures and road collapses that put lives in peril. The crews have been conducting wide area searches all week looking for people trapped in vehicles or homes.
The rescue teams, personnel and equipment are being provided through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which provides a coordinated relief effort for disaster-stricken states to help get the right type of resources at the right time. The requesting state (South Carolina in this case) fully reimburses for the total costs incurred. All resources are coordinated between state Emergency Management agencies.
The EMAC system was developed by state governors following Hurricane Andrew in Florida when critical resources were needed by the state of Florida. North Carolina has sent teams to help with numerous disaster response efforts including Louisiana and Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina and Alaska following flooding in 2007.
“This truly is neighbor helping neighbor at its best and most critical time,” said Governor Pat McCrory.