Coast Guard rescues 52 from SE Missouri floods

St. Louis – As of 7 a.m., Coast Guard air and boatcrews from St. Louis, New Orleans and Paducah, Ky., have rescued 52 people and 15 pets from flood waters in Poplar Bluff, Allenville and Eureka.

Forty people were trapped on Coon Island in the vicinity of Popular Bluff and were rescued by two Coast Guard HH-65C rescue helicopter crews from Air Station New Orleans. The other 12 were rescued by Disaster Area Response Teams (DART) in the areas of Popular Bluff, Allenville, and Eureka.

A DART consists of three flat bottom boats known as flood punts, which are capable of navigating in shallow waters. Eight crewmrn trained in flood response acccomapny each DART.

Due to swift waters, the Coast Guard is also teaming up with Missouri Water Patrol boats and crews when water conditions exceed the Coast Guard flood punts capabilities.

Currently the Coast Guard has DARTs in Eureka, Poplar Bluff, and Cape Girardeau, and the Coast Guard rescue helicopters have been diverted to the Eureka area to assist local and state responders.

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