Coast Guard evacuates woman and child in North Dakota

FARGO, N.D. - A Coast Guard helicopter rescue crew airlifts a woman and her infant child from flood lands near Argusville, N.D., April 12, 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 Lt. Christine S. Brown.

Coast Guard photo by Lt. Christine S. Brown

ST. LOUIS – A Coast Guard helicopter rescue crew evacuated a woman and her child from their flood threatened home in Argusville, N.D., Tuesday morning.

The tactical operations center in Fargo received a call for help at 9:56 a.m. from a woman stating that her and her baby needed to be evacuated. An HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was able to land, take the mother and child aboard and fly them to safety.

To date, the Coast Guard has participated in the rescue of 12 people and three dogs in the Red River Valley of North Dakota.

The multi-agency 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 on 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 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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