Coast Guard urges extreme caution for mariners off NC coast

Peter Castro
September 11, 2017

While much of the country is focusing on the lurking menace of Hurricane Irma, Oklahoma's citizen soldiers are still on the ground in Texas helping Hurricane Harvey survivors get back on their feet.

"The 129th rescue wing will be out there for as long as we're tasked to be out there", said Capt. Bersamina.

Kentucky soldiers took off on a new mission Thursday morning to help those in the Caribbean in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

The center noted that Hurricane Irma was still an "extremely dangerous" Category 5 hurricane, although its winds had decreased slightly from 180 miles per hour (285 kph) to 175 miles per hour (280 kph).

The general in charge of the Ohio National Guard says as many as 3,500 Ohio soldiers will be sent to Florida to help the state with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Meanwhile, the Port of Charleston, which is a large gateway for BMW exports and imports of containerized parts for the automaker's plant in Spartanburg, S.C., plans to remain open. "Also, because we do have the existing in-statute mission to perform search and rescue, we don't necessarily have to wait for somebody to ask us to move in".

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"All disasters are local and they're addressed initially by local authorities", Gen. Hagler said, adding that the National Guard is created to beef up that response as quickly as possible.

"These ships are capable of providing medical support, maritime civil affairs, maritime security, expeditionary logistic support, medium and heavy lift air support, and bring a diverse capability including assessment, security, route clearance and water purification", the Northern Command noted in a statement Thursday.

As hundreds of thousands of Floridians trek north to escape Hurricane Irma, tens of thousands of military personnel are heading south to prepare for rescue and recovery efforts. On numerous occasions the team utilized NYS DEC's Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, commonly known as drones, to assess situations where flooding made investigations hazardous to the responders. NYS IMT also provided Geographic Information Services and have generated maps displaying field conditions to enhance situational awareness where communities had needs.

NY has a long history of helping other states following natural disasters.

"We have a number of Soldiers experienced with this kind of operation".

WECT's Ben Smart will have more on this tonight on WECT News at 6.

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