By Capt. Travis Mueller, Pennsylvania National GuardSeptember 19, 2018
EASTOVER, S.C. -- Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard launched multiple search and rescue missions in South Carolina from McEntire Joint National Guard Base , Sept. 18, 2018.
Pennsylvania National Guard members conducted missions with their partners in the Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team. They departed McEntire Joint National Guard Base in UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters in the morning and flew throughout the day.
Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard and PA-HART searched areas around the cities of Nichols, Conway and Myrtle Beach for citizens stranded by floodwaters or otherwise in need of assistance.
Activity during the search and rescue missions included:
- Evaluation of water levels, bridges and associated infrastructure.
- Identifying primary areas of concern for future flooding.
- Ensuring flooded roadways were properly barricaded.
- Standing by to make sure people operating vehicles or boats navigated floodwaters safely.
One Pennsylvania National Guard crew in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter discovered a portion of a railway that was damaged by flood currents. They sent the location, severity and photos of the damaged portion to appropriate personnel.
Pennsylvania National Guard crews did not identify anyone in need of aerial rescue. National Guard crews were also on the ground, navigating the floodwaters in high clearance vehicles.
Local leaders in the area believe that flooding will develop further until later in the week.
A portion of the Pennsylvania National Guard task force in South Carolina was repositioned at Myrtle Beach International Airport in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Tuesday. The remaining Pennsylvania National Guardsmen in South Carolina are expected to join them in Myrtle Beach Wednesday. They are being repositioned to launch missions closer to impacted areas.
Pennsylvania National Guard and PA-HART members plan to conduct more search and rescue missions in South Carolina Wednesday. They stand ready to assist the populace and complete further assignments as directed by local authorities.