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NEWS | Aug. 6, 2020

NCNG engineers respond to Hurricane Isaias

By Sgt. Lisa Vines 382nd Public Affairs Detachment

WINDSOR, N.C. – North Carolina Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 105th Engineer Battalion teamed up with emergency management, state, county, and city departments to respond to Hurricane Isaias Aug. 3-5.

Isaias touched down along the southeastern coast of Ocean Isle as a Category 1 hurricane. About 150 Soldiers and Airmen have been assisting with rescue and recovery efforts across the eastern part of the state; from Bertie County's tornadoes to evacuations in Brunswick county.

Flooding, high wind gusts and tornadoes greeted first-responders and Guard members along the eastern region of North Carolina while they waited out the storm Aug. 3. Soldiers used high-water vehicles to transport rescue workers and gear to difficult-to-reach areas.

A tornado spawned by Hurricane Isaias near Windsor destroyed almost an entire neighborhood, leaving homes and belongings shredded on the ground and wedged into broken trees.

Soldiers assigned to the 882nd Engineer Company were dispatched to assist local first responders with transportation in the tornado disaster area. They also helped a resident gather his dogs that fled from his property during the storm.

"We're using our vehicles to run the search and rescue team from point to point," said Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Doster, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the team. "It gives you that cold-chill factor because when you see things like this, it's sad for the community, but it's knowing in the back of your mind that we're out here to help whoever is still out here and doing whatever we can for these rescue teams and help recover this little town out here."

This storm provided another opportunity for the NCNG and NC Emergency Management to showcase their seamless interoperability. Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces frequently work alongside Guard members.

"Just about every deployment we've been on so far, we've worked with the Guard," said Shannon Buchanan, a team leader with Buncombe County Task Force 2.

The task force deployed a 38-person team to Windsor to conduct search and rescue operations after the tornado touched down.

"We were called in during the early morning hours to assist the local fire department," said Buchanan. "With these high-profile vehicles, we were able to load a lot of our equipment and our personnel to get them into the areas we needed to be in real quick."