Coast Guard continues flood response in the Red River Valley

FARGO, N.D. - Members of the Coast Guard and Cass County Sheriff Department operate airboats to familiarize themselves with flooded areas in the event they need to assist residents, near Hickson, N. D., April 9, 2011. Coast Guard crews are working with partner agencies in the event they need to conduct wellness checks and perform rescues and other critical functions to ensure the safety of the residents potentially affected by this flooding event. The Coast Guard has a total of 54 people in the region to support this operation. There are two airboats, two rescue helicopters, an aircraft maintenance teams, a boat maintenance and support team on scene. An additional 19 personnel comprise the incident management team located at Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi, St. Louis, Mo. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Seth Johnson

Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Seth Johnson

ST. LOUIS – Coast Guard personnel, airboats and aircraft continue to assist in a multi-agency operation responding to heavy flooding along the Red River in North Dakota and Minnesota, Monday.

To date, the Coast Guard has participated in the rescue of 10 people and three dogs in North Dakota. In the most recent rescue, a strike team consisting of Coast Guard, Cass County Sheriff’s Department, Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife personnel evacuated two men, two women and a child along with their two dogs from their home in Argusville, Sunday.

The flood response operation is being led by the state of North Dakota, the state of Minnesota and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The President signed a federal emergency declaration April 7 allowing federal assistance to North Dakota.

“The disaster declaration allows us to assign this mission to the Coast Guard and the Fish & Wildlife Service to assist state and local responders in these crucial life saving, and life sustaining activities,” said Willie Nunn, Federal Coordinating Officer. “FEMA can utilize the full force of the federal government to assist in this flood response”

The Coast Guard currently has a total of 54 people in the region to support this operation. There are two airboats, two helicopters, two Coast Guard Auxiliary communications units, an aircraft maintenance team, and a boat maintenance and support team on scene. An additional 18 personnel comprise the incident management team located at Sector Upper Mississippi in St. Louis.

“Our primary goal is to provide the necessary support to the states of North Dakota and Minnesota,” said Capt. Steven Hudson, commander of Sector Upper Mississippi. “Our crews will work with our fellow agencies to conduct wellness checks and perform rescues and other critical functions to ensure the safety of the residents potentially affected by this flooding event.”

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