Gulf Coast prepares for likely Cat 1 hurricane
South Carolina firefighters are returning a favor to Louisiana.
State Fire Marshal Jonathan Jones and a team of firefighters, search and rescue and logistics emergency responders deployed to Louisiana Friday ahead of Hurricane Barry, according to a statement from the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
The Louisiana state fire marshal requested assistance from the advance unit of the Palmetto Incident Support Team, an all-hazards incident management unit that specializes in search and rescue, the department said. The team is part of the S.C. State Fire Marshal’s Office. The South Carolina crews will backup Louisiana’s emergency responders and help coordinate search and rescue if any structures collapse or any significant flooding occurs because of the storm.
Hurricane Barry is expected to make landfall Saturday in southern Louisiana and could drop up to three inches of rain per hour, according to reports by The Times-Picayune and The New Orleans Advocate.
The Palmetto state team landed in Baton Rogue Friday. They will stay for seven days with the possibility of extending the mission for up to 15 days by rotating personnel, according to the department.
During Hurricane Florence in September 2018, Louisiana’s emergency team came to South Carolina to help with the effects of the storm. The two teams coordinated search and rescue for 21 days, the department said. Louisiana deployed boat teams and nearly 100 rescuers to South Carolina. Since then, the teams have planned and trained for the 2019 hurricane season together.
“The State of Louisiana provided much-needed assistance and support to our state, during Hurricane Florence, and it’s time for South Carolina to return the favor,” Jones, the state fire marshal, said. “Louisiana State Fire Marshal Butch Browning and I began putting plans in place to create a seamless integration of our two teams during their deployment to South Carolina.”