Coast Guard Responds to Pacific Northwest Flooding

ASTORIA, Ore. – The United States Coast Guard in conjunction with other federal, state and local agencies is continuing its response to the Pacific Northwest flooding.

Coast Guard Air Station Astoria performed it’s first rescue of the flood response on Wednesday, when an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescue crew hoisted two stranded people in Morton, Wash. The rescue crew worked in conjunction with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department to locate the stranded citizens.

Coast Guard pilot Lt. Brooks Crawford described the rescue scene as a potentially dangerous one. “We located the two Morton citizens in a boat in a covered horse stable. The flood waters were rising rapidly and there was a lot of debris in the water,” said Crawford.

The Coast Guard has helicopter rescue crews and flood response boats pre-staged around the Pacific Northwest for the flood response. The Coast Guard also has helicopter rescue crews form Air Station San Diego en route to assist in the response.

Over 25 Emergency Operations Centers throughout the state of Wash. are currently open; responding to and monitoring flooding, road conditions, and other storm-related events.

Travelers – if you must get on the road make sure you check your route for possible road closures and avalanche dangers prior to departing. Do not drive through flooded areas, the underlying road may be eroded and moving water can easily sweep your vehicle away. This is a major cause of many flood-related deaths.

The Coast Guard would like to remind people to follow these guidelines to ensure their safety:

1. Minimize contact with flood water – Standing water from flooding can carry diseases and hazardous chemicals. If you get your water from a well and water floods into your pump house – check to see if water from the ground went down your well. If so, or if you’re not sure, boil your water before using it for drinking or cooking for yourself or your pets. If water floods your septic system, minimize your use of water for washing and wait for the water level to drop. If you come in contact with standing water, wash carefully before you eat or drink.

2. Stay high and dry – move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks, and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades,they are there for your safety. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.

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