NC rescue teams responding to disaster in Texas

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NC National Guard ready to help

Two North Carolina search-and-rescue teams are en route to Texas to help pull stranded people from the catastrophic floodwaters that are still rising.

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Two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and eight airmen from the NC National Guard, along with six rescue technicians, and two NC Emergency Management coordinators will spend eight days assisting Tropical Storm Harvey rescue efforts.

The Helo-Aquatic Rescue Teams, known as NC HART, train for this type of mission once a month.

The Helo-Aquatic Rescue Teams, known as NC HART, train for this type of mission once a month.



The rescue technicians, three from the Charlotte Fire Department, two from Asheville Fire, and one from Transylvania EMS, will be pulling people stranded in submerged homes or cars and hoisting them to safety.

"When we combine the uniformed talent that we have, our aircraft, and the civilian technicians, it's really an unmatched capability," said Lt. Col. Brent Orr, Dir. of Aviation and Safety, NC Army National Guard.

Many of the crew members on their way to Texas also served during Hurricane Matthew last October where they rescued more than 100 people.

They will work day or night for eight days, knowing anything can happen.

"These people that they're going to get they're in their worst- they're having their worst day and there's no telling how they'll react to the rescuer," said Charles Laird, NC Emergency Services Coordinator for Search and Rescue. "It's a highly dangerous scenario but they're very well trained, they're highly capable and they can handle a lot."

From the teams' initial staging area in San Antonio, Texas state authorities will direct them where to go.

Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

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