Team from Pennsylvania Helping with Rescues in South Carolina

SOUTH CAROLINA -- They're on a mission far from home but one they've had intense training for.

It's a specialized team from the Pennsylvania National Guard and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and day after day they're searching swamped communities in South Carolina for people in need of help.

"They need our assistance. They are in a bad way, especially in South Carolina. From what we understand and are told every day is that water comes down from North Carolina. They definitely need our assistance and we're glad we're down here to help them," said Taylor Grant of Williamsport.

National Guard pilot Taylor Gray from Williamsport is helping fly the black hawk helicopters to wherever flood victims are trapped.

He jumped at the chance to put his training to work after Hurricane Florence.

"Every crew member that we have here, volunteered to support and help in relief. I guess that's the main thing is everyone volunteered to come down, willing to help," said Gray.

People were trapped when the water came up blocking any way out of their homes. This Pennsylvania team was able to land, finding two people severely dehydrated.

Some spots can be dangerous to access by boat so being able to fly people to safety is a huge plus.

"The South Carolina emergency responders have been very happy to have us here, everyone's been very grateful. No hiccups yet and we're just happy to be down here to support them and whatever they need," said Gray.

These expert rescuers primary training is to help when Pennsylvania floods and they are finding flooding in this less mountainous area is different.

"Usually we have torrential rains, flash flooding, the tributaries come up then the rivers come up here the rivers food up north and that runs downstream at a slower pace because of elevation so the people are not prepared for when the water comes up," said Budd Kauffman, Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team.

"It's what we do when we're back home in Pennsylvania during our drill weekends and throughout the week and to be able to come down here and do what we train to do is amazing," said Jason Murtha, Pennsylvania National Guard pilot.

That specialized helicopter rescue team from Pennsylvania has responded to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria last year. They will be in South Carolina as long as they are needed.

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