Safe Returns: D9 Crews Home from Red River Floods

>BREAKING NEWS: I wrote the following post as a wrap up on our efforts to assist the people of North Dakota who were impacted by flooding across the Red River Valley. Unfortunately, it appears as though Mother Nature has more flooding in store for weary residents. As I write this, our airboat and helicopter crews are preparring to return to the flooded region as waters are expected to begin cresting again along the Red River and its tributaries this holiday weekend. At any rate, please enjoy the following while keeping our crews and the residents of North Dakota in your thoughts:

“Our Ninth District crews have returned safely from the Red River Flood Response in the Grand Forks and Fargo, N.D., area after helping successfully save 103 people, 15 dogs, 15 cats and numerous other animals from the rising flood waters along the Red River Valley.

Like other operations of this magnitude, there emerge great stories about Coast Guard Guardians who selflessly put their lives on the line to help others in need. I just wanted to share a few of those outstanding stories from this response.

Operating in a flooded urban environment is always difficult, but just try doing it in freezing temperatures surrounded by snow and ice like the airboat crews from Stations Marblehead, Ohio; Sault Sainte Marie, Mich.; St. Clair Shores, Mich.; Saginaw River, Mich.; and Sturgeon Bay, Wisc:

Of course, these crews couldn’t go out if it weren’t for the tireless actions of Coast Guard maintenance crews. Often overlooked, but never underappreciated, these Coast Guard maintenance crews worked around the clock to ensure all rescue assets remained ready to respond.

Here’s their interesting story written by an 11th District Coast Guard member at an 8th District flood operation, highlighting the efforts of 9th District Guardians’ efforts to keep the rescue crews on the go. Talk about demonstrating true interoperability, read Public Affairs Specialist 3rd Class Erik Swanson’s story, “Engineering a flood response.”

The Ninth District’s two Air Stations, Detroit and Traverse City, Mich., also sent crews to the Red River response. Check out their stories. In this first video, Aviation Survival Technician First Class Matt High from Air Station Traverse City talks about the flight into the Grand Forks, N.D. area:

Finally, here’s some amazing hoist camera footage of an Air Station Traverse City crew saving six people near Fargo, N.D.

Many more stories are available, including some great still imagery. Check out the Eighth District’s Red River Flood website for more.”

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