Great Lakes Coast Guard seasonal units closing early to deploy to Hurricane Harvey response

A Coast Guard Station Saginaw River, Michigan airboat crew rescues a dog from the flood waters of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, August 28, 2017. The boat crew rescued over 115 people the same day while utilizing the unique characteristics of the 20-foot airboat, which functions well in shallow water. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A Coast Guard Station Saginaw River, Michigan airboat crew rescues a dog from the flood waters of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, August 28, 2017. The boat crew rescued over 115 people the same day while utilizing the unique characteristics of the 20-foot airboat, which functions well in shallow water. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

CLEVELAND — Coast Guard units across the Great Lakes are poised to send additional personnel, flight crews, air boats and inflatable rescue craft to flood stricken Southeast Texas, to join similar assets, including helicopters, deployed last week in advance of Hurricane Harvey’s landfall.

Responders have encountered an overwhelming need for evacuations and search and rescue operations. The response to Harvey is drawing upon Coast Guard assets throughout the United States.

In the Great Lakes, this will mean that some seasonally operated units will suspend their operations at least one week earlier than anticipated.

The affected units are listed below:

  • Coast Guard Station Two Rivers, Wis.
  • Coast Guard Station Green Bay, Wis.
  • Coast Station Washington Island, Wis.
  • Coast Guard Station Harbor Beach, Mich.
  • Coast Guard Air Facility, Waukegan, Ill.

Customarily, these types of facilities close for the season after Labor Day and reopen the following Spring.

“Despite the early suspension of operations from these locations, the Coast Guard remains fully capable of responding to emergencies throughout the Great Lakes,” said Captain Tim Wendt, chief of response for the Ninth District. “Additionally, each Coast Guard Sector is part of a larger response community. Local, and state responders have been made aware of these changes.”

“Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Super Storm Sandy, and the Deepwater Horizon disaster, are recent examples of the Coast Guard’s ability to adapt to dramatic circumstances,” said Rear Admiral Joanna Nunan, commander of the Ninth District. “We have experience with this. We can take care of those who need us at home and away.”

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