MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Ten firefighters from Horry County are preparing to help respond to Hurricane Laura in Louisiana.
As Category 4 Hurricane Laura approached the Gulf Coast on Wednesday, 53 South Carolina firefighters were preparing to help in the recovery.
“This is certainly bigger than anything South Carolina has seen since Hurricane Hugo,” said Jonathan Jones, who is South Carolina’s fire marshal. “This is potentially the most devastating event that they would have responded to. This team responded in 2005 for Hurricane Katrina here in Louisiana.”
The state’s urban search and rescue (USAR) team includes four members of Horry County Fire Rescue, one from Conway Fire Department, one from North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue and four from Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue.
“They’ve been a part of this team for many, many years,” said Capt. Jonathan Evans with Myrtle Beach fire. “They do training with different folks here in the state. Typically, when we have a hurricane here, we also get those forces from these other states coming to help us. Louisiana and ourselves kind of have an agreement.”
Jones, who’s stationed in Baton Rouge, says the USAR team has special equipment to search homes and larger buildings, as it will travel into the hardest hit areas of southwest Louisiana, aiding local crews.
“We can track what’s been searched, what’s still yet to be searched, where specialized rescue may be required,” he said. “Our teams are also bringing some of their boats.”
Jones also says crews from other states like Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana and Oklahoma are also responding.