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Michigan Water Rescue Team Responds to Historic Flooding in Vermont
July 11, 2023
The Michigan State Police (MSP) Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (EMHSD) has deployed a water rescue team to support the first response operations during life-threatening floods in Vermont. The deployment of Michigan Task Force 1’s Type III Swiftwater Team from Michigan Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MI-MABAS) is in response to a request made by Vermont for out-of-state support through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).
Flash floods are wreaking havoc on Vermont mountain towns where nearly a foot of rain has fallen since Sunday. After deploying Monday evening, the 8-member team from Michigan joined other out-of-state rescuers from North Carolina, Connecticut, and New York this morning to assist in the rescue of residents trapped as rushing floodwaters reach the roofs of homes across the region.
“Our Michigan team is on the ground and ready to help. Many local first responders have been conducting life-saving rescue operations non-stop for the last 48 hours,” said Capt. Kevin Sweeney, deputy state director of Emergency Management and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “When other states ask for help, it is our duty we answer the call.”
The catastrophic flooding is expected to continue Tuesday after up to 9 inches of rain fell in parts of the state, sending river crests higher than Hurricane Irene levels in August 2011. The swift water rescue teams will respond to reports of trapped residents with some being identified by search and rescue teams in the air. The team is expected to return to Michigan on July 19.
This is the second time Michigan has sent resource support through EMAC requests in 2023. The MSP/EMHSD sent an emergency management official to California to assist with recovery efforts following severe storms that caused flooding and massive devastation last February. In the last three years, Michigan has also deployed assistance through the EMAC to help with civil unrest in Wisconsin, wildland fires in Oregon, Hurricane Ida damage in Louisiana, tornado aftermath in Kentucky, flooding in Montana, a public drinking water supply emergency in Jackson, Mississippi and during California lightning fires.
Through the EMAC, a disaster-impacted state can request and receive assistance from other member states quickly and efficiently. Members of the EMAC include all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.