Thursday, November 7, 2019

DEC Swiftwater Rescues

Ranger Report Nov 7 2019

DEC Swiftwater Rescues
Towns of Hope/Wells--On Oct. 31, Forest Rangers assembled a Swiftwater Rescue Team in preparation for the significant rain event affecting Central New York and the North Country. Many bridges and roadways were washed out during this storm event. The team was supported by the Hope and Wells fire departments, as well as the Town of Wells Highway Department. The heavy rain that fell Thursday evening into Friday morning caused many local rivers to flood. Rangers and local emergency personnel responded to several situations in the towns of Wells and Hope.
Along flooded sections of the Sacandaga River, Rangers utilized an airboat to rescue four individuals stranded by rapidly rising flood waters. Swiftwater rescue techniques were used to evacuate another two individuals from a residence in Wells, also trapped by rising flood waters. Rangers also evacuated an elderly couple by all-terrain vehicle from a residence when the Sacandaga River washed out their access road in the town of Hope. In addition, the Swiftwater Rescue Team worked with Hamilton County Sheriff personnel to conduct welfare checks in remote areas inaccessible to local responders. Rangers assisted the New York State Office of Emergency Management response coordination at the State Emergency Operations Center in Albany and at county emergency operations centers to help coordinate response efforts. Over the course of the severe weather event, 57 Forest Rangers were involved in response efforts in counties across northern New York.

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