Mississippi's hurricane expertise requested in Maryland - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Mississippi's hurricane expertise requested in Maryland

Millions of residents brace for Hurricane Sandy's landfall. The havoc of this huge storm is expected to paralyze life in the Northeast. Meanwhile, help is coming from Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

"This a region that is not typically hit with hurricanes," said Battalion Chief for Training and Hazardous Material for the Hattiesburg Fire Department, Robert Pickering.

Pickering says the state of Maryland sent a request for aid to Mississippi.

"They knew that we had experience with hurricanes, just previously with Hurricane Isaac actually," said Pickering.

Monday morning, Pickering headed  to the state of Maryland with other members of Mississippi's Task Force, their duty, swift water rescue.

"The trailer that we are taking with us is what we call our Special Rescue Trailer. It is outfitted for anything from trench rescue, confined space to rope rescue, as well as water rescue," said Pickering.

Pickering says that area is anticipating major flooding. A problem Pickering believes Maryland isn't accustomed to handling.

"You got a lot of hills and mountainous regions in this area that is going to increase the difficulties with the flash flooding and things of this nature," said Pickering.

To help those from nature's havoc, Pickering says the team will have three swift water technicians, an inflatable boat and a boat operator.

"So, we can go in and either remove people from homes, or people that have been trapped by flooding conditions and get them back in a safe haven area," said Pickering.

As the Northeast makes ready for Sandy, Pickering and the task force are preparing for a tumultuous week's stay.

"I believe the last estimate I heard was 50 million people potentially impacted by this storm, so it could get really hectic and very busy quickly," said Pickering.

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