Coast Guard crews rescue 22 people, 2 dogs in Midwest during historic floods

PADUCAH, Ky. — Coast Guard Disaster Area Response Teams (DART) have rescued 22 people and two dogs from flood waters in the Midwest as of Monday.

In the latest rescue, Livingston County Emergency Management requested Coast Guard assistance with three persons trapped in their home by rising water. A Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin Helicopter and crew launched from Barkley Regional Airport. Once on scene, the pilot determined that the safest evacuation option would be by a shallow water rescue boat.

Marine Safety Detachment Nashville DART rescued the three from the porch of their house which had water at the doorstep. Two of the people suffered from Parkinson’s Disease. The DART delivered them to local emergency services.

The Coast Guard has staged the DARTs in support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the midwestern states to save lives and minimize damage to property from historic flood levels. The Coast Guard crews are also standing by to assist with environmental hazards that may be caused by the flooding. There are presently 6 DARTs deployed or on standby: Marine Safety Unit Paducah staged in Golconda, Ill.; Marine Safety Detachment (MSD) Cincinnati and MSD Nashville are standing by in Paducah; Sector Upper Mississippi River staged in New Madrid, Mo.; SUMR staged in Dexter, Mo.; and Sector Ohio Valley staged in Fulton & Obion Counties, Ky.

There are also two HH-65 Dolphin Helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans on scene.

DARTs consist of six crewmembers that are capable of conducting operations in shallow water and urban environments. Each DART team is outfitted with three 16-foot shallow water boats, various rescue and communications equipment and supplies.

DART crewmembers in conjunction with state and local first responders are also assessing flood levels in various communities to render assistance to residents before evacuation is necessary.

The Coast Guard urges residents to heed the warnings of local officials and not venture into unsafe conditions.

“With more rain expected, the Coast Guard is ready and eager to send our teams to help residents in the impacted communities of Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee,” said Cmdr. Claudia Gelzer, commanding officer of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Paducah.

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