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Mobile Coast Guard Base Used As Hub For Harvey Rescue

Photo: U.S. Coast Guard Facebook

As Hurricane Harvey hurled toward the coast of Texas, many understood the potential for danger; few knew just how bad it was going to get.

Since making landfall as a category 4 hurricane, Harvey has unloaded 9 trillion gallons of water, causing one of the worst flooding disasters in Texas history. With so many people needing help, the Coast Guard is stepping in to help save lives, and a lot of that help is coming from Alabama.

As reported by Fox 10 News, Captain Bill Sasser, Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, explained how different Coast Guard teams across the country are using Mobile’s facilities as a launching ground for their trip to Texas.

“These aircraft are coming here and it takes a while for those air crews to fly those planes and helicopters – anywhere from 2 1/2 to 9 hours. So when they get here they reset their crew rest requirements. So as they converge they come here. We take care of the aircraft for them, take care of any maintenance if needed, making sure they are postured to go west,” Capt. Sasser told reporters.

While planning and training play a large part in the success of the Coast Guard, a lot of the methods they are using to carry out rescues was developed as a result of the horrific flooding that took place during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Captain Sasser pointed out that “[t]he equipment our rescue swimmers have on hand, the chainsaws, the saws, the types of axes we need to get through the rooftops — all of those things have been purchased and sent down. And those were lessons that were learned on day of Hurricane Katrina.”

Unlike most storms, these rescue workers are having to enter the field while the storm is still a factor. Water continues to rise, and several rooftop rescues have been conducted by Mobile Coast Guard crews.

Until further notice, flights will leave Mobile around the clock. Anyone needing emergency assistance should call 911 or the Houston Command Center at 281-464-4851

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