RALEIGH – Governor Pat McCrory says North Carolina will continue to assist South Carolina and is sending several teams there to help as that state continues to respond to and recover from record flooding.
“North Carolina has the experience, resources and staff to help South Carolina recover from this unprecedented flooding,” said Governor McCrory. “We will support our neighbors in the weeks and months ahead just as we know they would help us.”
Resources to support flood response and recovery include:
Staff support for South Carolina Emergency Management – a state liaison and logistics officer will work with SCEMD in their emergency operations center to expedite resource requests from North Carolina and help deploy assets across the Palmetto state. Also, a public information officer is working in South Carolina’s Joint Information Center.
Six pallets (10,000 bottles) of water to support law enforcement operations
Two Civil Air Patrol planes and crew have been sent to help with aerial damage assessments.
500 road barricades to help block traffic from dangerous roads
545 NC National Guard soldiers and airmen and 200+ vehicles to clear roads, reinforce dams and collect debris.
Several of the resources are already at work in the Palmetto state; others will arrive in the next day or two. Some staff and teams will be working for several days, while others are expected to be there for the next month.
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 nine search and rescue technicians; three Blackhawk helicopters, six pilots and crew chiefs from the NC National Guard; as well as a liaison to provide ground support and coordination. 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.
“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.”
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.
“This mobilization is unique to the National Guard because of our dual-mission purpose and authority,” said Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, the adjutant general for North Carolina National Guard. “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.”
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 McCrory.