Air station crews return home after Midwest flood assistance

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City search-and-rescue crews returned home this weekend from their mission of search-and-rescue and evacuation assistance in the flood-stricken regions of North Dakota and Minnesota’s Red River valley basin.

The three Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City HH-65C Dolphin helicopters and their 14 air crew members, who began deploying to the region on March 23, were systematically released from operations as the immediate threat of further flooding subsided. By Friday, April 3, all three helicopters and crew members had returned home from their deployment–a journey spanning more than 525 miles from Grand Forks, N.D.

During their deployment, the Traverse City crews conducted three to four missions per day searching for stranded residents in need of assistance and conducting other valuable support operations. They safely rescued 23 people along with several pets from their homes.

In total, Coast Guard personnel saved more than 100 residents in the flooded areas centered around Fargo and Grand Forks, N.D.

“Readiness to deploy to natural disasters around the country is one of our most important missions,” said Captain Bruce Jones, Commander of Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, the governing agency of the air station. “‘All threats, all hazards, always ready’ is the Coast Guard’s vision statement, and all Coast Guard crews deployed to North Dakota fulfilled the vision proudly.”

The Coast Guard Air Station in Traverse City operates five helicopters that conduct search and rescue operations for Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and the surrounding Great Lakes region.

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