Tampa Bay rescue team helps save 30 Panhandle residents from floodwater

Florida

Courtesy: Tampa Bay Task Force 3/Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Hurricane Sally brought life-threatening storm surge and flash flooding to residents living in the Florida Panhandle and Alabama as it made landfall on Sept. 16.

Many homes were swamped by flooding water, forcing the rescue of hundreds as it pushed inland.

Some of the rescue crews that went to help included Tampa Bay’s Task Force-3 Swiftwater Recue Team.

The task force rescue team is made up of special operations rescue crews from Hillsborough, Tampa, and St. Pete Fire rescue departments.

The team helped rescue 30 Panhandle residents from homes filled with or trapped by floodwaters.

In two days, the team rescued residents, as well as five dogs and two cats. The crew also helped tend to the medical needs of the residents, and in some cases, delivered emergency generators to homes by boat.

Most of the rescue team’s work was done in Santa Rosa County, but some rescues happened in Okaloosa County.

The team had left Tampa Bay Sept. 15 with seven boats, 20 vehicles and supplies like tents, showers, air conditioners, toilets and all of their own food and water so that they were not competing for resources with the residents in the impacted areas.

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