U.S. Coast Guard Gets Ready for Charley - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/13/04

U.S. Coast Guard Gets Ready for Charley

The Coast Guard is urging you to be careful during the storm. They spent this morning boarding up Air Station Savannah and tuning up their helicopters. It is all part of their efforts to prepare for Hurricane Charley.

"We're doing some of our scheduled maintenance early to make sure nothing comes up while we're out there," said Lt. J.G. Chuck Clark. "We have all five of our aircraft ready to go at the moment's notice that they might be needed."

The Coast Guard is also using Air Station Savannah to dry dock the boats from Coast Guard Station Tybee. The Air Station is 42 feet above sea level and the highest point in Savannah. By keeping the boats there on trailers, the Coast Guard can deploy them anywhere they're needed.

Coast Guard personnel have been watching the storm on radar from their operations center and keeping in contact with other emergency officials; however, they realize when they can respond, may not be entirely up to them.

"We have weather limitations on our aircraft," explained Captain Peter Troedsson, Commander of Air Station Savannah. "We can't operate in the most fierce weather. Therefore, we urge people to plan accordingly and understand the Coast Guard will respond, but there may be a delayed response."

The Coast Guard says the best way to avoid that is by staying out of harm's way. "Obviously," said Captain Troedsson, "they shouldn't be at sea in conditions like this." The Coast Guard is focusing on helping after the storm by rescuing any victims or helping to move relief supplies. They say the most important safety advice they can offer you is not to be out on the water with this storm.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

 

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