Station Michigan City aids in Westchester, Ill., flood relief

>Guest post by Petty Officer 1st Class Phillip Dawalt, Executive Petty Officer at Station Michigan City, Ind.

Before Petty Officer 1st Class Scott Lenz received the call on Saturday, July 24, that his duty crew was needed to respond to devastating flooding in Chicago’s western suburbs, the thought that he would be driving a boat down the streets of Westchester, Ill., to assist in the evacuation of the community’s residents never crossed his mind.

Heavy rains Friday and caused uncontrollable flooding throughout much of Chicago’s western suburbs, and Station Michigan City’s shallow draft ice rescue skiff, CG 151286, was an excellent platform to assist. After testing the seasonal boat, normally used during ice season, and getting last minute directions, Lenz, Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Roggy, and Fireman Joseph Grenados were on the road to report to the Incident Command Post.

After checking in and receiving their instructions, the Station Michigan City crew joined with a local fire department rescue team and began the long and muggy task of evacuating the flooded area. Whether on foot, in the truck, or on the boat, the combined team of rescuers diligently checked each house in their grid and utilized the station’s truck and boat to safely transport the residents out of the flooded area. By the end of their six hours on scene, the Station Michigan City crew estimates that their team assisted in evacuating over 50 residents of the flooded community.

The Coast Guard is always ready to provide safety and security on the waterways, even when those waterways are created suddenly by inclement weather.