PERRY COUNTY, Ky. (WATE) — Aviators from the National Guard and the Nashville Fire Department rescued 151 people from rising flood waters in Kentucky.
The floods in Kentucky have led to massive damage and at least 37 deaths. To help Kentucky in the disaster response, five UH-60L Blackhawk helicopters from the 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion in Nashville and Task Force Medevac in Knoxville were sent to Eastern Kentucky.
From July 28 to July 31, 20 National Guard aviators and eight members of the Nashville Fire Department rescued 151 men, women, and children and took them to higher ground. 27 of those rescued were lifted out of the rising flood waters of the North Fork River. All 151 were taken to the Hazard Airport or Appalachian Regional Healthcare Medical Center.
“I’m very fortunate to work with professionals in Tennessee Army National Guard Aviation, from the aircrew members, the support personnel, and our partners with the Nashville Fire Department,” said Col. Pat Wade, State Aviation Officer. “The recent response by this team and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and our Domestic Operations Staff saved many lives in the aftermath of severe flooding in Eastern Kentucky. I could not be prouder of our team, and the skills and services they provide during emergency responses.”
The Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team, a partnership with the National Guard, Nashville Fire Department, and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, remains on standby if any additional rescues are needed.