In the course of a few days, Hurricane Florence left at least 14 dead and nearly a million homes and businesses without power in North and South Carolina — and with the storm system moving north, the Department of Defense has swung into action to rescue civilians left stranded by rising floodwaters.
- The Pentagon has currently assigned a total of 13,470 service members and 1,286 military assets in support of Florence relief efforts, U.S. Northern Command announced on Sunday, including 5,400 active-duty personnel and 7,857 National Guard deployed with 1,154 high-water vehicles and 100 rotary-wing aircraft.
- Marines in two Humvees and two Amphibious Assault Vehicles from Camp Lejeune rescued 20 stranded civilians Jacksonville, North Carolina, at the request of city officials, NORTHCOM said. In addition, Lejuene sent 12 high-water vehicles to ferry state rescue personnel around the surrounding region.
- Coast Guard aircrews rescued dozens of civilians stranded by the storm surge in flood zones across the Carolines, including the dramatic evacuation of 13 people from a single flooded home in Jacksonville captured by CBS News.
- Approximately 20 Air Force helicopters from Davis Monthan, Moody, and Patrick Air Force Bases stand ” ready to respond for search and rescue operations” alongside three C-17 Globemaster III from U.S. Transportation Command “if requested,” per NORTHCOM.
- In Charleston, South Carolina, personnel from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are rapidly deploying containers full of sand and inflatable tubes as temporary levees to protect homes and infrastructure and better support emergency responders at the behest of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Maj. Gen. Scott Spellmon told CBS News.
- Finally, the USS Kearsarge and USS Arlington, along with embarked elements of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit and the Expeditionary Strike Group 2, are positioned “to chase the storm and provide Defense Support of Civil Authorities from the sea” as Florence moves north, NORTHCOM announced. Those embarked units include 800 Marines and six MV-22 Ospreys, “as well as a host of ground vehicles, generators, and other expeditionary equipment.”