Rescue teams pluck the stranded from SC porches
Posted October 5, 2015 5:59 p.m. EDT
Updated October 5, 2015 11:12 p.m. EDT
Columbia, S.C. — With thousands stranded, floodwaters measured in feet and nine confirmed deaths related to the weekend's record-setting rain, the South Carolina state capital is not out of the woods yet.
The Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Teams of the South Carolina National Guard spent Monday flying missions to pluck residents from flood-surrounded homes, hoisting the old and young in baskets and delivering them to higher ground.
"Most of them were on their porches, so we had the ability to swing the rescuers up and right onto the porch," said Will Sirmon of the South Carolina Army National Guard.
"They were very thankful. A lot of them were shaken up naturally."
The rising waters were enough to startle even the very brave.
"To see everything surrounded by water like that, it's something I've never seen in South Carolina, and I've been here my whole life," Sirmon said
Maj. Gen. Bob Livingston, adjutant general of South Carolina, toured the flood-ravaged region in a Blackhawk helicopter Monday, planning the next step in this rescue and recovery effort.
"From the river standpoint, we haven't hit the worst of it yet," he said. "We got a lot of brown, muddy water all over the place."
Livingston predicted more closed roads before the threat of flash flooding fades over the next couple of days.
"It's really that area around the river that continues to expand, continues to cut roads off, is what we're really concerned about," he said.