Emergency responders prepare for severe weather in the Triad


HIGH POINT, N.C. — As storms head toward the Triad, water rescue teams are already on stand-by.

The High Point Fire Department has three stations with water rescue teams. The rescue teams specialize in high-water rescues using kayaks and larger boats for dive rescues

Battalion Chief Ricky Shelton says calls increase when heavy rains cover the city. It’s a time where they’re responding to back-to-back water-related calls which include a number of vehicle rescues and rescuing drive from floodwaters.

“Every apparatus has personal flotation devices and throw rescue bags,” Shelton said.

Shelton says the best way to avoid any dangers on the road is to use slower speeds on the slippery roadway, be careful and avoid floodwaters you’re unsure of.

“Look out for your surroundings if you see standing water in front of you just stop, back up, go the other way in the city — especially the city, you know there’s always an alternate route,” Shelton said.

Firefighters at Station 5 showed FOX8 the life vests and ropes used to perform the rescue missions. If you’re caught in a situation where you need to be rescued from floodwater it’s best to call 911.

“We don’t want anybody in danger themselves because if a bystander does do something and get in danger and now we have created a bigger incident than what we’re having to deal with, and now we’ve got additional folks we have to rescue,” Shelton said.

With the threat of severe weather looming over the Triad, the chief says to stay away from downed power lines because the lines could be energized even if there’s a power outage. Overall, there are three key things to keep in mind during Thursday’s rainstorms they could protect you from weather-related accidents.

“Slow down be careful, be careful and stay out of the water,” Shelton said.

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