HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Local firefighters from Horry County are in Louisiana to assist in rescue and recovery efforts after Hurricane Laura arrived as a Category 4 storm overnight.
Local firefighters are in Baton Rouge waiting to be deployed to areas destroyed by the powerful storm.
Hurricane Laura ripped buildings to shreds as it slammed Louisiana. The storm packed sustained winds of 150 miles per hour leaving behind debris and extensive property damage.
The South Carolina State Fire Marshall said they are a diverse task force that is able to perform several types of search and rescue efforts.
“Primarily their mission will be assessing structural damage and doing searches of damage structures to make sure they’re not occupied and making sure the residents still there in inhabitable houses are safe,” said Jonathan Jones, South Carolina State Fire Marshall.
Dennis Mann, an engineer with North Myrtle Beach is serving as a hazmat specialist for South Carolina’s Urban Search and Rescue Team Task force 1.
Both Jones and Mann said this is an opportunity to return the favor to Louisiana.
“Hurricane Florence they had 100 personnel and boat teams that responded and spent a lot of time in the Myrtle Beach area as a matter of fact,” said Jones.
“Being on the coast of South Carolina, when we have a hurricane event I stay with my local department and we rely on a lot of people from out of state so it’s really good to be able to help those who often help us,” said Mann.
The task force is prepared to stay for up to 14 days. The State Fire Marshall said there are crews still here in South Carolina that are assisting virtually.
There are 10 firefighters in total from several agencies in Horry County assisting in the Gulf.