Weather

NC sends search and rescue teams to Texas following Harvey

Posted August 27
Updated August 28

— Gov. Roy Cooper on Sunday announced that North Carolina would be sending help to Texas as the state endures devastating flooding following Hurricane Harvey.

Cooper said that two Helo-Aquatic Rescue Teams, known as NC HART, were en route to San Antonio, Texas to help with flood rescue and response.

The crews heading to Texas will consist of two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, eight airman from the North Carolina National Guard, six rescue technicians and two North Carolina Emergency Management area coordinators.

The crews left North Carolina on Sunday afternoon and will spend 10 days in Texas.

“Our state knows from experience with hurricanes how devastating flooding can be,” Cooper said. “Our hearts go out to the people of Texas and we have two seasoned search and rescue teams with vast experience on their way to help.”

Some of the crews traveling to Texas helped rescue people trapped in floodwaters during Hurricane Matthew in October. The crews pulled more than 2,300 people from flooded homes and cars, including 100 rescued by helicopter, during that storm.

Texas requested help from North Carolina through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which helps coordinate relief for disaster-stricken states to make resources available when needed.

Charles Laird, Emergency Management Services coordinator for search and resue said that in addition to the request for helicopter crews, the state also recieved a request for five swift water rescue teams.

"We haven't heard anything yet, but we're prepared to support if needed," Laird said.

North Carolina National Guard officials said that in making the decision to send crews to Texas, they took into consideration what resources would be needed at home as a tropical storm approaches the coast.

Texas officials will fully reimburse North Carolina for total costs incurred during the 10-day period NC HART crews are in the state.

North Carolina residents interested in helping victims of Harvey can make a $10 donation to the Red Cross by texting HARVEY to 90999 or make a donation to the Texas Disaster Relief Fund.

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