By Spc. Alonzo Clark, North Carolina National GuardSeptember 12, 2019
CLINTON, N.C. - A North Carolina National Guard High-Water Vehicle team from 105th Engineer Battalion Headquarters and Headquarters Company rescued a family of four from their flooded home prior to Hurricane Dorian's arrival on Thursday, September 5.
The 105th Engineer Battalion, based in Raeford, North Carolina put Soldiers on State Active Duty orders Monday, September 2 to carry out rescue and relief operations alongside state and local first responders.
Before Hurricane Dorian's arrival, the battalion spent 24 hours in Elizabethtown, Tuesday and moved to Sampson County and Clinton prior to Thursday morning's rescue.
Sampson County Emergency Operations Center requested aid for an MTV (medium tactical vehicle or high-water vehicle) team to work with firefighters and save the family, said Sgt. Wesley Brantley, a Combat Medic with the 105th.
"For a family who lived on a back road that has a pond near it, they had water in their backyard and it already had come up to the first step of their house", Brantley said.
Brantley described the family's house as a mobile home along an unimproved road.
The family consists of a pre-teen boy, a pregnant woman, and an elderly man and woman.
Brantley's crew safely evacuated the family to a shelter at Clayton High School in Clayton, N.C.
Another NC Guard high-water vehicle team went to check other back roads in Clinton to find out if additional residential evacuations were necessary.
"We went back to Elizabethtown, on Friday, and spent less than 12 hours there and then we were tasked with some other Guard teams to move to Ocracoke Island and support relief efforts there," said Brantley.
On Ocracoke Island, the NC Guard members worked together with the local fire department delivering non-perishable food, generators, transportation, and power to those in need especially the elderly and handicapped.
"Talking to a lot of the locals here on the island that we interacted with and sent generators to, they said Hurricane Dorian is the worst they had seen since the 40s," said Brantley.
Brantley expressed a sense of relief when he and his crew worked together with local responders to accomplish a common goal- help fellow NC citizens during emergencies.
"What was going through my mind was the community that has come together for a humanitarian mission and the relief between everybody," said Brantley. "It was amazing to see how everyone is working together and in-sync to rebuild this community and get it back together."
As of September 11th, over eight days since the first NC Guard members were alerted for state active duty, NC National Guard men and women and state and local first-responders remain on Ocracoke Island to provide recovery and relief.