Coast Guard conducting rescues in flooded community in S.W. Michigan

Members from Coast Guard Station St. Joseph's Ice-Rescue Team help evacuate individuals from their homes near St. Joseph River, Michigan, due to record flooding from heavy rain and melting ice, February 22, 2018. The flood waters were over two feet higher than anything previously experienced in the local area. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Members from Coast Guard Station St. Joseph’s Ice-Rescue Team help evacuate individuals, February 22, 2018.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. – The Coast Guard and local agencies are conducting house-to-house rescues and assisting with evacuations in southwest Michigan experiencing flooding from the St. Joseph River, Thursday.

A watchstander at Coast Guard Station St. Joseph received a call at 8:15 a.m. local requesting a welfare check on two people living in a mandatory evacuation zone in Sodus Township, approximately three miles east of St. Joseph. The station personnel requested assistance from the Sodus Township Fire Department. Fire department personnel were unable to reach the persons after arriving on scene due to the water level and location of the two people in distress.

Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan command center launched response crews from Station St. Joseph. The Coast Guard crew arrived on scene at 8:45 a.m. and were able to assist the two persons from their flooded residence.

Crews from Coast Guard Stations St. Joseph and Michigan City, Indiana, and local agencies to include Royalton Township and Sodus Fire Departments, are conducting similar rescues and evacuations from flooded neighborhoods. More than 40 people have been rescued along with numerous pets.

“These operations highlight our inter-agency cooperation and notable working relationship between the Coast Guard and local responders,” noted Lt. Cmdr. Bryan Swintek, search and rescue coordinator for Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan. “This is a result of our collective training between Station St. Joseph and partnering agencies.”

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