CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) - The Mooresville Swift Water Rescue Team is on high alert after major flash flooding last week in Statesville and is preparing for the continued flash flood warnings this week.
Fire Chief Shane LaCount and his team trudged through what he call historic flood waters, after eight inches of rain hit Statesville. They rescued nine people from rising waters at a dentist office and construction site. Statesville Fire Department was first on the scene and rescued 18 people trapped in houses and cars.
"Any day we can make a save that's great," LaCount tells Fox46 Charlotte. "That's what we do this job for... But these team members go above that."
The Water Rescue team consists of 32 members that are trained as firefighters, EMS, first responders, as high water rescuers. The team has existed for nine years.
During this time of year, the Swift Water Rescue Team usually assists near the coast in hurricane action. But after last week’s flash flood in Statesville, and the potential of severe floods this week, the team is staying close to home.
“Our units respond when people are sleeping at 2 o’clock in the morning,” LaCount said. “They go out and they check these creeks. And they check the bridges and the overpasses and they check where water may collect.”
The Station 5 Fire Department’s garage is equipped with several rafts, wet suits, flotation devices, and motor boats hooked to cars, so they can pull away at a moment’s notice.
The Water Rescue Team has already started to prepare the town of Mooresville and identify areas in the town that could be potentially hazardous. LaCount says simple things like clearing drains from lawn clippings goes a long way. The team tells Fox46 Charlotte that clogged drains on neighborhood streets seem beign, but often escalate the severity and danger of floods.