Coast Guard helping victims trapped in flood waters after Hurricane Florence

Posted at 5:39 PM, Sep 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-15 23:27:45-04

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C - Dozens of victims are trapped in flood waters and are being rescued by the U.S Coast Guard in North Carolina after Hurricane Florence.

Members from across the country including Michigan, Georgia and Florida have flown into the Air Station in Elizabeth City.

Commanding Officer, Joe Deer told News 3 that many helicopters, aircrews and maintenance teams are helping out in New Bern, N.C.

"While the storm was just turning over in the coast yesterday, it was frustrating to not be able to get down there and assist so we were ready for it this morning," he said. "We got calls as early as 3 o'clock and we were airborne by 5 (o'clock Saturday morning)."

Hurricane Florence turned deadly with several people killed in its path, and Deer mentioned the number of rescues made is climbing.

"This morning there was a report of a family of five in a car with water rising around it and then I believe the Marines actually pulled up with an amphibious vehicle and got them," continued Deer. "While we were heading to that one there was another report of another case to 13 people that needed rescue."

The Coast Guard said they currently have seven helicopters in New Bern, North Carolina, that are coordinating with state emergency operators to get victims to higher ground.

"We'll send a rescue basket down and you get into the rescue basket and we pick you back up and it's a pretty quick evolution," the Commanding Officer added. "We can pull you up anywhere between 300 up to 600 feet per minute."

Other agencies are helping too and working non stop to turn those stranded into survivors. Coast Guard members said they will continue to have a busy week ahead.