Tennessee National Guard airlift 151 Kentuckians to safety during deadly floods

The Tennessee National Guard helped rescue over 150 Kentuckians affected by the recent floods.
The Tennessee National Guard helped rescue over 150 Kentuckians affected by the recent floods.(Tennessee National Guard)
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 3:15 PM CDT
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PERRY COUNTY, Tenn. (WSMV) - Aircrews from the Tennessee National Guard reportedly rescued flood victims this past week following record rainfall that overwhelmed the North Fork River and the Kentucky River in rural Eastern Kentucky.

Authorities said five UH-60L Blackhawk helicopters from the 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion in Nashville, and Task Force Medevac in Knoxville deployed to Eastern Kentucky to assist with rescue operations. In addition, aviators from the National Guard and eight members of the National Fire Department rescued 151 people between July 28 and July 31 and transported them to higher ground.

Kentuckians were rescued by the National Guard
Kentuckians were rescued by the National Guard(TN National Guard)

Of the 151 people rescued, 27 were reportedly hosted out of the rising flood waters of the North Fork River into a hovering helicopter. All the victims were taken to Hazard Airport or ARH Regional Medical Center.

“I’m very fortunate to work with professionals in Tennessee Army National Guard Aviation, from the aircrew members, the support personnel, and our partners with the Nashville Fire Department,” said Col. Pat Wade, State Aviation Officer. “The recent response by this team and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and our Domestic Operations Staff saved many lives in the aftermath of severe flooding in Eastern Kentucky. I could not be more proud of our team and the skills and services they provide during emergency responses.”

Flight crews said they would remain on standby pending further missions from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.

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