BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ)– Maryland to the rescue as Hurricane Matthew moves along the Carolina coasts. Local resources are on standby ready to jump in at a moment’s notice to help if needed.
Flooded roads and high tides are the result of Hurricane Matthew as it made landfall early Saturday in South Carolina. The storm is weakening, but there’s still cause for concern.
“The best thing now is just to hunker down, stay a in safe place. Don’t move, don’t try and move around,” said South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
Matthew is responsible for several deaths in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina, as it moves along the coast.
Millions are also still without power. As recovery efforts begin where Matthew has left its mark, the focus is now on the Carolinas where life-threatening flooding and flash flooding is expected. As a precaution, Maryland is sending some major resources to help with relief and recovery efforts, should conditions worsen.
“We’re keeping folks sheltered, fed, and out of the storms path.” said Cyndi Ryan, with the American Red Cross.
The Maryland Helicopter Aquatic Rescue team also known as HART has come into play to help as well. The team consists of a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and four crew members from the Maryland Army National Guard and two divers from the Baltimore County Fire Department.
“The unique thing about this program is we’re working with local, state, and federal partners,” said one HART official.
The National Guard, Air National Guard, and divers from the Baltimore County Fire Department are often going in thick of it after a storm like Matthew to save lives.
“They are a specialized team that assists in these type of missions during emergency situations,” said Maryland official.
Officals tell WJZ this is one the first times the unit has been used after a major storm.
“When they get together every 90 days to do their training this is the type of mission they do, so they’ll be well prepared to do it.” said Colonel Charles Kohler with the Maryland National Guard.
The HART team also specializes in water, building, even wilderness rescues. The team is on standby waiting for the storm to pass before taking any action.